GEs LightSpeed VCT XT: Same image quality, half the dose
GE Healthcare revealed at RSNA 2006 what it calls its next generation 64-slice CT scanner, the LightSpeed VCT XT, which maintains high-resolution, diagnostic quality images while reducing a patient’s radiation exposure by up to 70 percent.
According to GE, the LightSpeed VCT XT is capable of capturing images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats. LightSpeed VCT XT also includes hardware and enhanced applications that will allow users to add the clinical value of volume CT by providing new capabilities for imaging the heart, head, and other body parts.

GE’s SnapShot Pulse application is an automated response to a patient’s heart rate and ensures that the x-ray is only on for portions of a scan.  The process, which GE calls prospective triggered gating, significantly reduces a patient’s x-ray exposure time. The LightSpeed VCT XT also is the first multi-slice scanner capable of performing CT angiographic (CTA) studies where the table moves from one location to the next to cover the entire volume of the patient’s heart, a mode of scanning called step-and-shoot, GE said. The LightSpeed VCT XT tracks a patient’s heart rate real-time so the x-ray and acquisition time is driven by each individual patient, enabling clinicians to obtain high quality images with a very low dose exposure.
In addition, The LightSpeed VCT XT includes new axial and neuro shuttle modes. GE’s said its VolumeShuttle addresses the need for wide coverage for both dynamic angiography and perfusion in a single scan to enable whole organ anatomical and physiological assessment. Volume Shuttle doubles the coverage width of the anatomy without increasing dose relative to a single axial acquisition with a single contrast injection.

GE also introduced an analysis software package, CT Perfusion 4 Neuro, which aids in the assessment of the extent and type of perfusion, blood volume and capillary permeability changes, which may relate to stroke or tumor angiogenesis and the treatment thereof. According to GE, the application provides quick and reliable assessment of the type and extent of cerebral perfusion disturbances by providing qualitative and quantitative information on various perfusion-related parameters such as regional blood flow, regional blood volume, mean transit time, capillary permeability and Tissue Classification Index. Tissue Classification Index is a new tool in the software that aids the physician in determining the status of the tissue based on various perfusion-related parameters, during the first six hours after the onset of symptoms.

GE showcased the next generation of its smallest MDCT scanners, the BrightSpeed Select. The “Select” series scanner includes the advanced imaging technology available on the company’s volume CT system, the LightSpeed VCT. BrightSpeed Select provides exceptional image quality, productivity capabilities and reliability of the LightSpeed systems, in an even smaller design.

GE said the BrightSpeed Select also includes 4-, 8-, 16-slice systems in addition to the current BrightSpeed series.