In PET and SPECT, getting more sensitive and working smarter

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In PET and SPECT, getting more sensitive and working smarter

por Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | June 19, 2018
CT Molecular Imaging PET SPECT X-Ray
GE Discovery MI
From the June 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Manufacturers in the nuclear imaging space are continuing to innovate in the PET and SPECT markets, increasing the sensitivity of scanners in order to improve diagnosis and treatment, and lower the radiation dose, for patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease, along with other health issues.

At the same time, software companies are looking to help clinicians work smarter with the technology they already have.

Here’s a guide to what’s new to the market for several manufacturers and software companies.

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GE Healthcare
GE recently released a five-ring version of its Discovery MI PET/CT system, which has a 25-centimeter field of view. This is in addition to the three- and four-ring Discovery MI systems, which offer a 15-centimeter field of view and a 20-centimeter field of view respectively.

The increased field of view allows for much faster scan times and less injected dose, said Sergio Calvo, GE Healthcare's general manager for PET. The system reduces the acquisition by three times, so a scan that would take 30 minutes could now take 10 minutes.

The system also has GE’s advanced reconstruction algorithms that Calvo said creates an image that is “virtually free of motion artifacts.”

“All of these technologies working in harmony in this system creates the best PET/CT scanner we have ever made,” Calvo said.

The more advanced scanners can also help academic facilities investigate new tracers, particularly for prostate cancer, an area of research where there is a lot of growth and momentum.

“If you have a high-sensitive system, you will be able to image highly specific and low-uptake tracers with great image quality, something that conventional scanners could not do,” Calvo said.

While the big commercial release of the new Discovery MI will take place later this month at SNMMI, the company did its first installations a few months ago at facilities including the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Massachusetts General Hospital and MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.

In the SPECT space, GE is planning to introduce new products at SNMMI. The company will also showcase the second generation of its Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT, which has higher sensitivity, allowing for a shorter acquisition time.

“A whole-body bone scan takes half the time, from 10 minutes to five minutes [on the second-generation Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT],” said Nathan Hermony, GE’s general manager for nuclear medicine.

Hermony said while other manufacturers have been investing less in SPECT, GE has decided to continue moving forward in the space.

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