Choosing a full-sized C-Arm can be a challenge. What lessens the challenge is knowing your needs and your budget. Focusing on your specialty is especially helpful. Your budget is what it is. But there are ways to get the best bang for your buck.

Here we look at the OEC 9800, a very popular system built from 2000 through 2006, and the BV Pulsera, also introduced in 2000 but still in production, currently in its third generation. Let’s put these two machines into a C-to-C matchup and see which one comes out a winner!

Image Acquisition OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Type Image Intensifier Image Intensifier
Detector size 9″ or 12″ both Tri-mode 9″ or 12″ both Triple mode
CCD Camera Resolution 1k x 1k High-Resolution CCD 1k x 1k High-Resolution CCD
Field of view 9″ II: 9″, 6″, 4.5″

12″ II: 12″, 9″, 6″

9″ II: 9″, 7″, 5″

12″ II: 12″, 9″, 7″

Which detector comes out ahead? Depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s a detail you need, the 9800 has greater magnification throughout its resolution range. The Pulsera has a larger field of view when collimated down to 7” and 5” modes if real estate is what you need.

X-RAY GENERATOR OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Focal spot 0.3 mm and 0.6 mm 0.3 mm and 0.6 mm
kV range 40 – 120 kVp 40 – 120 kVp
mA range 0.2 – 40 mA depending upon the mode, up to 150 mA in Cine Pulse Mode  0.2 – 20 mA continuous High Definition fluoro boost mode
Operating Mode Pulse/continuous Pulse/continuous
Selectable pulse rate Cont, 1, 2, 4, 8 pps, 15 pps Cine Pulse Mode 6.25 or 12.5 pps (3-30 pps optional)

The 9800 has a greater mA range than the BV Pulsera due to its larger x-ray generator 15kW vs the Pulsera’s 7.5kW. The 9800 has slower pulse settings, limiting the dose more than the BV Pulsera, and a faster stock pulse rate as well. The Pulsera has a higher optional pulse rate at 30 pps, useful for real-time video capture.

ELECTRICAL OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Laser alignment Optional Optional

With optional laser alignment on both systems, you’ll have to pay extra for this feature. In 2011 there was a recall on the Pulsera due to the clip for the laser aligner fastener coming loose during a procedure resulting in the aligner separating from the machine. If you decide on a Pulsera, make sure that the machine has had the recall addressed.

DOCUMENTATION OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
DICOM 3.0 compliant Optional
MPPS Optional Advanced DICOM Package
Image capacity 400 500
Video capacity 10 min @ 15pps in Cine Pulse Mode to Dynamic digital disk 2 hours w/optional Medical DVD Recorder

Documentation is critical. The 9800 has the edge in standard DICOM and MPPS (Only on systems with Revision 30 software). However, if your specialty requires lengthy video, the BV Pulsera with the optional Medical DVD Recorder has the edge.

MECHANICAL OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Weight 450lb 695lb
Height 64.25″ 69″
Footprint (W x L) 27.25″ x 27.25″ 32″ x 37″

The 9800 is lighter, shorter, and has a smaller footprint, so it’s easier to get moving from a dead stop and fits through smaller doorways.

MONITOR OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Size 16″ (dual, square) CRT. Flat-screen upgrade available 17″ dual, high resolution, anti-glare, anti-static
Touch Screen   Available for the left monitor on Mobile View Station

Out of the box, the BV Pulsera has the edge with standard flat-screen monitors. It also has available touch screen capability, but only for the left monitor.

C-Arm OEC 9800 Philips BV Pulsera
Free space 9″ II: 31.5in

12″ II: 31.5″

Super C: 30.0″

Arc depth 9″ II Model: 26in

12″ II Model: 28″

Super C: 33″

Pivot rotation 360˚ (180˚/180˚) ±180˚, safety stop at ±135˚
Lateral rotate (wig-wag) 20˚ 20˚
Orbital rotation 9″ II: 115˚

12″ II: 115˚

Super C: 145˚

115˚, 135˚ optional

Here we have a clear winner: the 9800 has more free space and a deeper arc, useful features where lateral views or larger patients are involved. It also provides more clearance for the surgeon to operate within.

Deciding between these two systems is difficult. The 9800 shines in image magnification which shows more detail, both slower stock pulse rates for minimal dosing and a higher stock pulse rate for 15pps video, out of the box its documentation features are better, it’s lighter and smaller, and it’s C-Arm has more free space and arc depth. The BV Pulsera has a larger field of view which shows more anatomy, a higher optional pulse rate for more fluid video images, more image and (optional) video storage, and flat-screen monitors.

On average pricing on the BV Pulsera is usually cheaper for a newer aged system when compared to the 9800. If your procedures require maximum image detail, minimal video, and a more versatile C-Arm, then the 9800 is your machine. If you need a larger field of view when collimated down, more video time, and prefer flat-screen monitors (although there is an option to add flat-panel monitors to the 9800), and want to be at a lower price point then the BV Pulsera is your choice.

If you’re interested in either of these machines, have a different one in mind you’d like to explore, or just have questions for us, reach out to us via our Contact Us page, or click on the handy Request a Quote button.