Molecular Imaging & Nuclear Medicine offers tomorrow's medicine today

Vendors are focusing on fusion imaging with variations in design, logistics and more targeted, tailored imaging. As medicine moves toward achieving earlier and better disease detection, vendors are fine tuning their offerings to allow for better sensitivity and spatial resolution. Molecular imaging vendors showed off their new priority with prominent booth position, through a few alliances with pharmaceutical companies developing biomarkers and a look into clinical and preclinical applications.

Gamma Medica-Ideas introduced an upgrade suite for its X-SPECT Pre-Clinical Imaging System with three major enhancements for pre-clinical SPECT imaging. SuperSPECT is a reconstruction module that goes beyond traditional reconstruction methods in which spatial resolution can be no finer than the size of a gamma camera's pinhole aperture. SpiralSPECT is a scanning feature that allows X-SPECT users to obtain high-resolution images of large subjects in a single procedure. Multi-Pinhole Imaging is an upgrade that allows

X-SPECT users to improve the sensitivity of their MicroSPECT images by collecting multiple parallel images of the same subject and adding them together.

GE Healthcare showcased its new molecular imaging system - the Discovery STE that fuses the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's CT scanner and the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its PET scanner. The new Discovery Dimension Console is fully integrated to optimize PET/CT workflow, 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.

To better understand the molecular make-up of disease, GE recently initiated deployment of PET/CT research units to premiere clinical partner sites which will generate data that will broaden PET/CT technology applications.

GE's next-generation SPECT/CT hybrid system, the Infinia Hawkeye 4, combines GE's Infinia gamma camera with an optimized 4-slice CT. 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 workstation to enhance productivity using Ignite technology, which enables 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 also introduced the PETtrace External Beam Line technology, the enabler of flexible utilization of cyclotrons which provides an easier way to develop new PET radiotracers.

For the PET radiopharmacy, GE introduced a significant expansion to its line of PET radiopharmacy equipment. 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.

GE also showcased its Evolution for Bone, a new suite of reconstruction tools for GE's Infinia with Xeleris functional imaging workstation used for resolution recovery in SPECT/CT bone imaging.

The company also launched Discovery VCT, the world's first true 64-slice combination PET/CT system for cardiac imaging applications. It combines the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's volumetric CT with the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of PET. 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.

Hitachi Medical Systems America Inc. showcased the "power of three" available in its suite of differentiating capabilities that drive the Sceptre P3 PET/CT hybrid system. DAC technology, non-rigid fusion, and AVIA-PACS architecture combine for high throughput applications. The Sceptre dedicated PET system supplies true 3D acquisitions with patient-specific corrections through pico high-speed electronics. Sceptre capitalizes on the increasing benefits of cardiac PET over nuclear SPECT with its improved sensitivity in CAD, spatial resolution, and faster exam times with one-touch protocols, dual-gantry controls, and laser positioning. The Sceptre Evolve program allows Sceptre users to upgrade to a Sceptre P3 in the field.

MIMvista Corp. displayed its MIM image display system which enables the operator to easily display and manually overlay tomographic images including PET, MR, SPECT, and CT. MIM maintains original scan volume accuracy while avoiding the time required for pre-calculation of resized image volumes and is faster than methods that require translation and rotation of the entire image volume. The operator aligns image volumes by translation and rotation of the image volumes. A simulated true color overlay displays the merged image volumes by the color summation of the two volumes.

MIM provides functionality as a multi-modality image review workstation which includes display of fusion images acquired on both separate and combination scanners. A thorough PET review and fusion package is offered, as well as cardiac and 2D support. It also offers both image manipulation and display variety, including tabbed screens for multi-patient presentation. Users can fuse any combination of PET, SPECT, CT, or MRI. Volume linking allows for the correlation of studies along multiple time points, including PET/CT and fused images. MIM includes automatic contour generation that allows for the creation of 3D PET/SPECT region of interest images (ROIs).

Naviscan PET Systems Inc. entered into an agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research to clinically validate and commercialize a dynamic patented molecular imaging agent for use with PET and other imaging modalities.

Naviscan is the first company to obtain FDA clearance for a high-resolution PET scanner designed to image small body parts. The device was developed to help physicians and researchers diagnose and locate cancer, guide interventions, and advance new clinical therapies. The PEM Flex Solo PET scanner has proven resolution of 1.5mm intrinsically, 2.0 mm in-plane.  

Philips Medical Systems highlighted its GEMINI line of PET-CT systems. The GEMINI GXL features rapid resolve PET technologies, 3D reconstruction algorithm, and an open gantry design. Also on display was the Extended Brilliance WorkSpace featuring a flexible review display.  

Philips' PET/CT Viewer allows for both PET/CT and diagnostic CT review and analysis in a single, integrated environment, allowing users to create a customized workflow. GuidedFlow productivity enhancements offer a user interface that takes the user step by step from review and analysis to reporting.

Philips also highlighted its Precedence SPECT-CT system which unites high-end, multislice CT with a flexible gamma camera. This merged system provides registered SPECT, planar and CT images in addition to individual SPECT, CT, or attenuation-corrected nuclear medicine images. Precedence is designed to perform currently reimbursable nuclear medicine and CT procedures and is a platform for future molecular imaging advances. The system can perform coronary CT angiography, calcium scoring and attenuation corrected myocardial perfusion in one imaging session.

Siemens Medical Solutions created a Molecular Imaging Division this year and highlighted at RSNA its biograph 64 PET-CT system that performs high-resolution CT angiography and myocardial perfusion, viability, and function in one accurately registered exam. Another highlight was the Symbia TruePoint SPECT-CT, which captures information on both the molecular and anatomical levels in a single scanning session. Siemens also showcased its syngo TrueD, a visualization tool that enables comparisons of patient scans from two different points in time, such as pre- and post-therapy. Scenium, a new computer-assisted tool to help clinicians in diagnosing dementia, advances neurological evaluation by enabling automatic correlation of the patient study with an average brain for assessment of abnormalities.

Siemens' microPET, microCAT, and microCAT+SPECT scanners offer early insight into in vivo pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics - providing the bridge between the laboratory and the clinic.

Thinking Systems introduced a range of enhancements to its multimodality, web-based ThinkingPACS specific to nuclear medicine use, including support for co-registration and fusion of independently acquired images in a full range of modalities. The system also offers maximum intensity projection 3D for quick overview of a lesion's location. The system also offers maximum intensity projection 3D for a quick overview of a lesion's location. Also, the company now offers direct support for hybrid SPECT-CT scanners with dedicated image fusion software.

Thinking Systems also showcased its latest release of advanced PET-CT fusion software, which incorporates the ability to select and fine-tune image display layouts based on multiple criteria.

Toshiba America Medical Systems showcased its signature camera, an easy-to-use system for whole body, cardiac, and general SPECT applications. Flash 3D algorithms deliver the highest SPECT image quality, the e.soft platform is the fastest in the industry, and the system allows users to acquire, process, and review images all on one workstation.