SCCT Feature: Philips VP stresses economic advantage of 128-slice scanner
Philips Healthcare's Brilliance iCT 256-slice CT scanner has been on the market since 2008, and the latest evolution of the Brilliance family--the iCT SP--was featured at the recent 2009 conference of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) in Orlando, Fla.

The iCT SP is a 128-slice scanner that is less expensive than its ultra-premium brother, but can be upgraded to a 256-slice model within a 24-hour period, according to Bill Radaj, vice president of sales and marketing for Philips Healthcare North America.

Having fewer detectors allows the company to sell this premium model at a cost-effective price. Conversely, the upgrade is merely a matter of equipping the scanner with the additional detectors. "The footprint stays the same," Radaj said in an interview.

"We offer this model as a matter of cost containment," Radaj said. "It's an excellent way to enter into the iCT family."

During the SCCT conference, Philips also highlighted the dose-reduction techniques available on all Brilliance scanners, including the Eclipse DoseRight Collimator and a step-and-shoot feature. With the DoseWise techniques, radiation dose can be reduced to 3 to 4 mSv per cardiac scan, while maintaining optimal image quality, Radaj said.

Philips also showcased its latest post-processing software, extended Brilliance workstation (EBW), for advanced visualization techniques, such as 3D volume rendering and vessel analysis.

In addition, Radaj emphasized the company's TrueView software that allows previous CT scans to be integrated into the cath lab for PCI or EP procedures. TrueView has been available since the introduction of the Brilliance 64.

George Ebert, MD, director of CT at Fletcher Allen--which recently installed the iCT scanner--commented that total scan times for demanding exams are only seconds long. "We see image quality benefits in complex procedures like brain perfusion and neuro CTA, as well as routine body imaging, bariatric and CVCT," he said.