por Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | February 22, 2013
GE Healthcare said this week it wrapped up the first global commercial installation of the new Optima NM/CT 640 at a hospital in the Dallas area.
The SPECT-CT system, built for shorter scan times, is now home at the 726-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
First announced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging show in June 2012, the scanner combines an all-purpose SPECT camera with a 4-slice CT. GE said the CT part of the scanner is optimized — pun possibly intended — to achieve low doses of ionizing radiation, reaching 1 or 2 millisieverts for a 40-centimeter abdominal scan.
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Although it has a smaller footprint, it's designed to accommodate heftier patients, with a 70-centimeter bore and a table that can withstand 500 pounds, GE said. It's also meant to be speedier. Using the company's Xeleris 3 workstation, the company claims practitioners can achieve 50 percent shorter acquisition times and possibly cut injected patient dose in half.
The scanner uses technology found on GE's other Discovery SPECT systems, such as the Discovery NM630. In fact, in its brochure, GE said Discovery NM 630s can be upgraded on site to the Optima NM/CT 640. The Optima NM/CT 640 itself can then be further upgraded to the Discovery NM/CT 670. "Purchasing a Nuclear Medicine system is a decision that has implications for years to come," the company said in the brochure. "The needs an organization has now, and what it can afford, may evolve as it grows and seeks to add capabilities."