GE Healthcare unveils new FDA-approved Signa MR scanner

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GE Healthcare has received clearance from the FDA for its new Signa MR750 3.0T MR scanner, the latest addition to GE’s Signa family of MR systems, which was introduced at the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) in Toronto this week.

Dave Handler, general manager of global MR marketing at GE Healthcare, told Health Imaging News that the company developed this scanner with two goals in mind for MR:

  • To provide more advanced clinical benefits, along with diagnosing earlier and more specifically; and
  • To improve workflow and complex training, especially for new technologists in the advanced applications.

“We wanted to develop a powerful MR system, that’s also easy to use. We worked with clinicians for thousands of hours to accomplish these goals,” Handler said.

The company has equipped the Signa MR750 with a thermal management system, delivering up to 60 percent additional anatomical coverage and resolution unit per time.

For the scanner, the company has introduced XRM gradient module, along with a new thermal management system, the latter of which “allows you to perform complex exams, like sophisticated fMRI exams, and not be limited at all by heat extraction of the system,” according to Handler. 

“We also introduced with this product Perform 2.0—our second version of this package. It introduces a brand-new proprietary gradient wave-form algorithm. This eliminates limitations due to peripheral nerve stimulation and SAR [specific absorption rate],” he said.

The Signa MR750 features a newly developed parallel imaging technique—Auto Calibrating Reconstruction (ARC) for Cartesian imaging. Handler explained that “ARC allows you to speed up your exam time, allowing you to use ARC parallel imaging for either a faster exam, or for a higher resolution exam, so you can obtain 3D volumes of data in a much shorter time.”
The MR750 also features new operational applications, including:

  • Lava-Ideal, a dual-echo acquisition technique that aids existing sequences to provide consistent, detailed, 3D abdominal images in one-breath hold. With this new application, clinicians can now conduct a complete liver exam in 15 minutes, according to Handler.
  • Vibrant-Ideal, a new application that allows for fat-free breast imaging with high spatio-temporal resolution, which catches short in- and out-of-phase echoes to keep scan times comparable to single echo acquisitions.
  • Propeller 2.0 enables strong performance in all neuro imaging planes with the implementation of the No Phase Wrap technique, which allows ghost-artifact-free, motion-immune scans in sagittal, coronal, axial and oblique planes.

Handler said the scanner will be suitable for two types of institutions—academic hospitals and large community hospitals. He said that university hospitals and research institutions are suitable due to “its extreme high performance in terms of the gradient, thermal performances, the reconstruction, the parallel imaging…they will want to buy this system to perform the most advanced research.” However, large community hospitals “in competitive markets will also want to acquire this scanner to have the most advanced applications to attract referrals,” according to Handler.