CT speaks volumes in diagnosis
GE LightSpeed VCTGE Healthcare’s CT business (Booth #7164) is showing improved diagnostic quality, spatial resolution, and plaque characterization with new CT software and hardware. New announcements also include the company’s new acute-care CT technologies and applications that easily determine the densities of plaque within a coronary artery. This new technology, called CardIQ, measures vessel abnormalities. In addition, GE is highlighting its new CT Perfusion package to assess efficiently perfusion for stroke treatment. GE also is highlighting its new wide-bore CT system, the LightSpeed Xtra, a premium 16-slice CT scanner designed for needs such as trauma, interventional, and bariatric procedures.

GE is showcasing results from the company’ latest clinical CT innovations, including helical shuttle, showing promise to address the need for wide coverage for both dynamic angiography and perfusion in a single scan to enable whole organ anatomical and physiological assessment; research in new detector technologies that have captured the first phantom images of a “spectral CT” image that provides new and different information not captured with existing CT detector technology; and research that captured the first volume dual-energy clinical images. Volume Dual Energy CT with a 50 cm field of view will be presented by researchers at Keio University in Japan. Finally, the company is celebrating the 1,000th shipment of GE’s LightSpeed VCT scanner.

Philips BrilliancePhilips Medical Systems (Booth #1965) is featuring its improved Extended Brilliance Workspace (EBW) with an optional Brilliance Everywhere solution that delivers full viewing and 3D volumetric imaging as well as cardiac, vascular, stroke, colon, and lung applications to “any chair of your choice” such as an iSite PACS workstation, EBW CT workstation, or even a connected PC at home. Brilliance Everywhere maximizes time by allowing radiologists to complete more studies without having to “change chairs” to access needed information.

New image quality and workflow enhancements to the Brilliance CT Big Bore Oncology and Big Bore Radiology configurations also are being featured as well as the introduction of mid-tier and value priced CT scanners. A new multi-energy spectral CT option for clinical research is being introduced, allowing customers to break new ground in spectral CT imaging. This complements Philips ongoing clinical investigations with the world’s first simultaneous, multidetector spectral CT scanner. Results from the first 300 patients are being presented. The future direction of Philips CT is focused on the delivery of a single-tube whole-organ coverage system providing optimal image quality, low dose, and intelligent workflow.

In addition, Philips is offering high-speed XperCT, which provides soft-tissue imaging capabilities in the interventional suite without the need to transport the patient. XperCT opens up a new area of clinical applications aiding interventions, with XperCT data being displayed within 90 seconds after acquisition.

Siemens SOMATOM Sensation 64Siemens Medical Solutions (Booth #4129) is featuring its SOMATOM Sensation 64 CT system. Siemens’ z-Sharp technology can image most organs in less than 10 seconds, providing excellent image quality of the smallest intracranial, pulmonary, mesenteric, and peripheral vessels.

When developing the SOMATOM Sensation 64, Siemens explored three scenarios that could provide the desired results. The first was using 64 area detectors to create 64 slices, creating a very wide detector and x-ray beam. However, this increased the distance from the center of the tube, which subsequently decreased resolution.

Next, Siemens explored reducing the area detectors’ thickness. While this increased resolution, it also increased the radiation dosage. Ultimately, Siemens built upon its STRATON x-ray tube, which is one-third the size of a typical CT tube.

The combination of the STRATON tube, Ultra Fast Ceramic detectors, and z-Sharp technology allows 0.33 seconds per rotation (spinning 30 miles per hour) that provides increased image resolution without increasing radiation dosage beyond the traditional 16-slice technology. SOMATOM Sensation 64 has the largest installation base worldwide, with more than 330 systems installed to date, Siemens says.

Toshiba 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. 

CT Peripherals
DeJarnette (Booth #2315) is debuting a new product and new software releases for a number of existing products. The company’s dyseCT CT Workflow Engine has been in the market for two years. It continues to be the only automated solution for splitting whole-body CT studies into separate studies based on the RIS order. The company is currently in beta testing with version 3.0 of this software. The version 3.0 software is scheduled for release in December. This software includes the ability to break up TSpine, LSpine, and reformatted studies. A majority of dyseCT customers have requested these features. A number of large medical facilities have identified the lack of these features as the only thing standing in the way of total adoption of the product throughout their enterprise for all CT operations.