CardiArc receives new patent allowances for heart imaging system

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CardiArc Inc. yesterday announced it has received additional Notices of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its ultra-compact CardiArc heart imaging system. The system was cleared for marketing by the FDA back in January.

The CardiArc provides images of heart blood flow with up to three times the clarity of other SPECT systems and up to 20 times more quickly while a patient sits upright without rotation or holding their arms over their heads, the company said. Scan times range from 15 to 20 minutes down to 2 minutes or less, at physician discretion.

Several of the most recent patent allowances are for a new technology called FOVea, which can be used with nearly any planar or SPECT nuclear medicine system to dramatically expand its field-of-view with only minimal modifications. Additionally, the company is in discussions with several manufacturers regarding application of the FOVea technology beyond the CardiArc heart system.

"By modifying the scintillation crystals used by gamma camera systems to create images, the area imaged can be expanded 15-35 percent, allowing larger patients to be imaged in fewer passes and enabling imaging of larger regions, closer to the body than with existing cameras," said Jack Juni, MD, the inventor and CTO of CardiArc. "This results in more rapid patient imaging procedures and permits smaller, less expensive equipment to do procedures presently requiring larger, more expensive equipment."

In some instances, such as nuclear breast imaging, the new technology may permit construction of cameras seeing portions of the breast frequently missed with standard gamma cameras.

CardiArc developed this technology to support its recently approved, ultra-compact cardiac SPECT imaging system specifically designed for use in outpatient settings and emergency rooms. It can pass through a standard 30-inch wide doorway, can be used in a 6-foot by 7-foot exam room, requires no room modifications for installation or operation, the company said.

The device will be display at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting and conference in San Diego that begins on Saturday.