January 10, 2018 | News & Notices Newly Developed Technology Produces Tomosynthesis Images Using Any X-Ray System


Examples of how the positioning phantom (white cuboid phantom) is placed

Examples of how the positioning phantom (white cuboid phantom) is placed

Shimadzu has developed a new technology that can generate tomosynthesis images with a variety of general radiography or fluoroscopy systems.
Tomosynthesis images are produced by applying a unique image processing technique to the patient's X-ray images taken together with a specialized phantom.

Through the implementation of this unique technology, we can obtain tomosynthesis images with general radiography and fluoroscopy systems that don’t have any mechanical mechanisms normally required for tomosynthesis imaging. Consequently, it could provide a significant contribution to the orthopedic imaging field, such as for observing detailed images of bone fractures.


Tomosynthesis, which is a medical term formed by combining the terms tomography and synthesis, is a technology used to create coronal section images from a series of X-ray images. Tomosynthesis is acknowledged as useful for orthopedic examinations, such as for observing micro bone fracture lines or for performing follow-up examinations after artificial joint replacement cases. At the moment, tomosynthesis is possible for either Shimadzu's flagship general radiography system, the RADspeed Pro EDGE package, or Shimadzu's flagship R/F system, the SONIALVISON G4.

Background to the Development

Tomosynthesis can be used to avoid images in which bone and tissue overlap, or even to observe micro fracture lines that are difficult to identify using general radiographic images. However, because tomosynthesis requires precise mechanical control mechanisms, tomosynthesis can only be used for limited modalities.

Therefore, in order to make it easier to use tomosynthesis imaging, Shimadzu have developed new technology using image processing expertise which is Shimadzu's strength.

Overview and Features

The new technology was developed based on Shimadzu's unique algorithm for calculating position information and new techniques which ensure the image quality of coronary section images combined with a small number of exposures. By using exposures from multiple angles with a specialized phantom for positioning placed near the target body part of the patient, and then using the dedicated software to process the multiple images acquired, the new technology enables tomosynthesis even on general radiography and fluoroscopy systems that are not equipped with the precise mechanical control mechanisms normally required for tomosynthesis.

Shimadzu's evaluation confirmed that the new technology provided spatial resolution that was equivalent to existing tomosynthesis images. If the technology can be successfully commercialized, tomosynthesis could contribute significantly to the orthopedic field through widespread adoption of tomosynthesis imaging.

Future Plans

Shimadzu is planning to commercialize the technology by further improving usability and image quality Initially, we will use the technology with general radiography systems and develop a practical system within 2018. Thereafter, we will expand the range of applicable modalities.