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Full-Size C-Arms vs. Mini C-Arms

Both full-size C-arms and mini C-arms are integral to any imaging department’s arsenal. What are their differences and what are they used for?

Full-size C-arms
Full size C-arms

Full-size C-Arms

Full-size C-arms are more powerful and have more room to accommodate different parts of the body. There are many brands and types to choose from, for example, the OEC 9600, 9800, and 9900 by GE come with either flat plate detectors and/or image intensifiers. The 9” or 12” diameter analog image intensifiers are equipped with 3 magnification settings: 9/6/4.5 for 9’’ and 12/9/6 for 12”.

Digital C-arms, on the other hand, are equipped with 20 x 22 and 31 x 31 cm flat plate detectors which provides 100% coverage of the body part being worked on. Images can be viewed, edge to edge, with minimal distortion.

Full-size C-arms are required for hips, femurs, knees, shoulders, clavicles, lumbar and cervical spine cases. They are also used for vascular and urological work. They can generate up to 120 KVp and 4 mA which allows more penetrating power to visualize the hip joint, lumbar spine, and the femur.

The main con for a Full-size C-arm would be the space requirement, since they need a large enough room to be able to be moved around. It is also more difficult to move around the body part and needs to be pulled out to allow the surgeon to work around the patient.

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