GE spotlights molecular imaging at RSNA
GE Healthcare showcased at RSNA its new molecular imaging system designed to help physicians detect, diagnose and monitor treatment of cancer and other diseases more accurately and earlier in the disease process. The Discovery STE is a fusion of the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's CT scanner and the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its industry leading PET scanner. The new Discovery Dimension Console is fully integrated to optimize PET/CT workflow and provides a wider range of choices to meet patient's clinical needs, enabling physicians to simultaneously complete a static image and 4D motion study in one acquisition; perform advanced image reconstruction techniques of 2D and 3D; and tailor the CT x-ray dose to each patient, a capability that can reduce dose by up to 40 percent, GE says.

Driven by the desire to better understand the molecular make-up of disease, GE recently initiated deployment of PET/CT research units to premiere clinical partner sites. These units are expected to generate data that will broaden PET/CT technology applications beyond cancer care.

GE Healthcare's next-generation SPECT/CT hybrid system, the Infinia Hawkeye 4, combines GE's industry-leading Infinia gamma camera with an optimized 4-slice CT, offering speed and quality enhancements. The Infinia Hawkeye 4 SPECT/CT system provides 5 millimeter slices for approximately half the scan time. Infinia Hawkeye systems are integrated with the Xeleris workstations to enhance productivity using Ignite technology, a unique feature that enables the operator to complete a scan-and-review cycle in a single click. The Xeleris workstation delivers state-of-the-art processing speed, innovative productivity tools, and built-in connectivity to various imaging systems, as well as PACS.

GE Healthcare also introduced the PETtrace External Beam Line technology that offers GE PETtrace cyclotron users the ability to increase their research and development capacity. This new product was developed as part of a collaboration with Hevesy Laboratory, a major contributor in the Nordic region of PET imaging applications development. GE's PETtrace External Beam Line technology is the enabler of flexible utilization of cyclotrons, providing the customer with an easier way to develop new PET radiotracers, and simplifies access to accelerated particles (protons and deuterons) produced by a cyclotron by redirecting these particles to a location where they can be readily utilized to generate isotopes used for radiotracer synthesis. 

For the PET radiopharmacy, GE Healthcare introduced a significant expansion to its line of PET radiopharmacy equipment used by hospitals, research institutions and distribution pharmacies worldwide to produce radiotracers used in PET imaging. GE's new PETtrace10 will now offer PET radiopharmaceutical users the highest capacity and reliability for producing PET radioisotopes.

PETtrace10 is a dual-particle, dual-extraction cyclotron that can deliver 10Ci of 18F in two hours. Its higher capacity and ability to produce most research isotopes is expected to broaden the use of PET and hybrid PET/CT technologies worldwide. PET and PET/CT procedures utilize fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) which when injected into a patient provides useful functional and anatomic information for oncological, neurological and cardiac evaluations. 

GE Healthcare also showcased its Evolution for Bone, a new suite of reconstruction tools for GE's Infinia with Xeleris functional imaging workstation. It's used for resolution recovery in SPECT/CT bone imaging. Available for images acquired on GE's Infinia nuclear imaging system, GE's Evolution for Bone improves image quality, diagnostic confidence, productivity and patient comfort. In addition, GE says Evolution for Bone provides clinicians with a reduction in imaging time of up to 50 percent.

The company also launched its new Discovery VCT, the world's first true 64-slice combination PET/CT system for cardiac imaging applications. The Discovery VCT combines the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's volumetric CT with the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its industry leading PET system. By combining these scanning technologies, the Discovery VCT provides the tools to enable physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify heart disease and other conditions, including cancer and neurological disorders. GE originally designed the LightSpeed VCT, the world's first volume CT system introduced in 2004, to easily integrate with its PET technology. The company recently announced the 500th installation of the LightSpeed VCT, making it the fastest selling product in the company's history. The LightSpeed VCT noninvasively captures images of the heart and coronary arteries in fewer than five heartbeats. In a single rotation, the system creates 64 credit-card-thin images, totaling 40 millimeters of anatomical coverage. These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy for the physician to analyze.
Further, GE Healthcare announced that London Health Sciences Centre of London, Ontario Canada, will host the world's first SPECT/CT Master Series Educational Program titled, Introduction to Hybrid Imaging: Focus on SPECT/CT. To commence in March 2006, the program will address numerous technical and clinical aspects, and provide hands-on training of this novel hybrid imaging technique.

One of several Master Series programs supported by GE Healthcare, the SPECT/CT Master Series will help new or experienced SPECT/CT users gain a thorough understanding of the technology in the areas of science, physics, clinical usefulness and interpretation. In addition to the hand-on workshops, other key topics include: practical fundamentals and quality control; patient preparation and imaging protocols; applications in cardiology and oncology; and present and future radiopharmaceutical applications. Physicians, physicists and technologists from London will teach the educational program under the guidance of Bill Pavlosky, MD, course director, SPECT/CT Master Series and a 20-year veteran at London.

Note: This story is an update from the Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging RSNA Review sent earlier.