Cardiac Imaging is one beat ahead
GE Healthcare (Booth #7164) is showcasing the Discovery VCT, a system that marries, through the Discovery Dimension platform, the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE’s volumetric CT with the motion imaging capabilities of the Discovery PET system.

The company also is introducing CardIQ Fusion, a software fusion application that enables clinicians to perform multi-modality image fusion in a single application. CardIQ Fusion, a dedicated, specialized cardiac fusion application, brings together, for the first time, anatomical and physiological data from CT, PET, and nuclear medicine images on GE’s AW Workstation and allows their analysis in a single application.

GE Healthcare’s SPECT/CT system, the Infinia Hawkeye 4, also is on display. It combines GE’s Infinia gamma camera with an optimized four-slice CT in a continuum platform that is fully optimized for nuclear medicine departments.

MEDRAD (Booth #8526) is releasing new technology for its Stellant D CT Injection System that is designed to improve timing for cardiac CT imaging. SmartFlow automatically suggests injection protocols by factoring in patient-specific parameters, a time-consuming process if done manually. Several published studies have shown the benefits of individualizing injection protocols to account for body weight, scan duration and contrast concentration. SmartFlow allows a site to set preferences, such as flow rates or grams of iodine over time, in advance. The technologist would then only need to enter a few patient-specific parameters to activate the Stellant to calculate a suggested protocol that can then be used as-is or adjusted at the user’s discretion. Users also have the option to include a saline test inject for vein patency, a test bolus for contrast timing, or a diagnostic injection with contrast, DualFlow, and saline flush. SmartFlow is the latest upgrade to the Stellant CT Injection System. It joins DualFlow, which provides the unique ability to inject saline and contrast simultaneously, in enhancing cardiac CT imaging through advanced contrast delivery.

MIMvista MIMcardiac softwareMIMvista (Booth #6752) is adding automatic cardiac extraction and 3D/2D visualization of CTCA image volumes to its MIMcardiac display and analysis software. Several features have been added, most notably CTCA and multi-modality perfusion/metabolism registration. The registration allows for the localization between 3D and cross-sectional images. Relating coronary anatomy to functional images increases confidence in correctly identifying the presence and extent of coronary artery disease.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #1929A) is showcasing its GEMINI TF PET/CT system, featuring time-of-flight PET imaging. The GEMINI TF can generate images of the same quality regardless of patient size by utilizing the company’s TruFlight PET technology. GEMINI TF is available in 16-slice and 64-channel CT configurations.
The company also is highlighting advancements on its Achieva 3T, including techniques for faster cardiac MR; faster, higher-resolution 4D, contrast-enhanced MR angiography; and new developments in whole-body diffusion imaging. Look for a line of expanded portfolio of RF coils with higher SENSE acceleration factors as well.
Also on display is the Precedence with 64-slice CT. For patients with normal myocardial perfusion scans, equivocal nuclear studies, or abnormal myocardial perfusion scans, hybrid SPECT/CT can identify early disease states and clarify diagnostic ambiguity. The system can produce CT-based attenuation correction and perform advanced cardiac CT procedures such as calcium scoring and coronary CT angiography in one episode of care, on one system. It also can produce SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging in half the time of conventional scanners.
Philips’ Brilliance CT platform includes a new cardiac CT imaging mode to image the coronary arteries in just four beats while lowering patient dose; integration of its diagnostic cardiac CT with the installed base of Allura Xper flat detector cardiac cath and EP labs to facilitate interventional planning; improved software packages for vascular, lung, and colon applications.
Philips also is demonstrating technology enhancing the interventional capabilities of the angiography suite. The Allura Xper FD20 captures twice the amount of clinical information at a resolution four times greater than conventional angiography systems. The Philips unique 2K imaging flat detector system with pivoting functionality is designed for a complete range of vascular procedures, both diagnostic and interventional. The increased complexity of interventions requires that physicians have interventional tools available instantly at tableside. Allura 3D-RA integrates with the Allura Xper FD20 to provide real-time 3D reconstructions of complex vasculature using a single rotational scan.
Lastly, Philips is showcasing XperGuide and Dynamic 3D Roadmap--new products within the Allura Xper family of angio labs, developed to address interventional radiologists need for imaging tools that provides both 3D anatomical information as well as real-time information in one view. Both of these technologies provide live 3D guidance for interventional radiologists and neuroradiologists, helping to make navigation of needles or catheters through complex anatomical areas faster and with increased control. Specifically, XperGuide links on a single display angiographic CT imaging (from Philips XperCT) and live fluoroscopy, allowing better visualization of needle, target and surrounding anatomy. Similarly, 3D Roadmap is designed to dynamically integrate live fluoroscopy with a 3D rotational angio roadmap, supporting catheter and guide wire navigation.

In addition Philips will show a new biplane configuration, the Allura Xper FD20/20, featuring two large detectors. According to Philips, some products referenced may not be licensed for sale in Canada.

ScImage (Booth #4358) is demonstrating its latest web-based cardiology viewing suite at RSNA 2006. Gated SPECT and nuclear stress test images can be viewed from any location, eliminating the need for dedicated workstations in routine clinical viewing. Automatic sequence identification and viewing protocols allow for simple and efficient two-stage and four-stage stress echo viewing. An auto measurement update between ScImage’s echo viewer and report generator allows physicians to refine measurements made by technologists or add new measurements in a web-based environment. A digital subtraction angiography (DSA) pre-processing module is built into the DICOM server to provide auto viewing of subtracted images over the web without the need for dedicated workstations. These new tools add to a diagnostic environment that already includes cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, nuclear medicine, EKG and cardiac CT.

Siemens SOMATOM DefinitionSiemens Medical Solutions (Booth #4129) is showcasing the SOMATOM Definition, which is faster than every beating heart and capable of imaging full cardiac detail with as much as 50 percent less radiation exposure compared to traditional CT scans, the company says. The system can image patients with high or irregular heart rates, or even arrhythmia, without beta blocker medications that have been previously needed to slow a patient’s heart. The system also enables physicians to better identify and characterize plaque, an early indicator of heart disease.

The SOMATOM Definition offers scanning with two different x-ray energies simultaneously, which allow physicians to better differentiate, characterize, isolate, and distinguish bone, soft tissue, and fluid. This dual-source CT system uses two x-ray sources and two detectors at the same time, compared to all other CT systems that use only one source and detector. With 0.33 seconds per rotation, electrocardiogram-synchronized imaging can be performed with 83-millisecond temporal resolution, independent of the heart rate, resulting in motion-free cardiac images.

Allowing optimal evaluation of peripheral segments of the coronary arteries, including plaque evaluation, the SOMATOM Sensation Cardiac 64 improves follow-up assessment of stent performance. Because doctors obtain highly detailed images of the anatomy, they can make more informed diagnostic decisions in a noninvasive manner. 

Siemens also is highlighting the 4.0 release for its ACUSON Antares ultrasound system that features shared service cardiology applications, in addition to general imaging applications and advanced clinical applications such as 3D/4D and contrast agent imaging. With its enhanced imaging performance, the system enables physicians to better view disease, even with the most technically difficult-to-image patients. The Antares 4.0 is equipped with a high-resolution, 19-inch, flat-panel display mounted on an articulating arm for optimal viewing position. Ergonomic design features include the natural and extended reach zone concept that places controls and peripheral devices so they are easily accessible.

Toshiba Aquilion 64Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #1129) is showcasing its suite of workflow and storage enhancements for its Aquilion 64 and Aquilion CFX CT systems — satisfying the growing demand for tools that optimize data acquisition and transfer for improved efficiency and faster diagnosis. Enhancements include a new software release on the CT console, enabling faster scanning and data analysis. In addition, the automated PhaseXact feature (part of the SURECardio package) works to locate the best phase and eliminates the need to reconstruct excess data — decreasing reconstruction time by nearly 50 percent. New storage solutions optimized for 64-slice CT systems also have been added and allow for easy, economical storage of thin-slice data — delivering a true modality archive without slowing down PACS infrastructure. Another advancement is the SUREPlaque software application, which allows clinicians to easily view vessels for coronary remodeling and quantification.