Siemens breaks from PET-CT tradition with mCT

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Siemens Healthcare Friday launched its Biograph mCT, a hybrid PET-CT modality that brings together a high-slice count CT and routine, whole-body PET imaging in a single platform that could meet the imaging needs of both radiology and nuclear departments. Siemens debuted the system at the European Association of Nuclear Medicine conference in Munich, Germany.

“This system looks like a CT, feels like a CT, but it has PET embedded within it,” Markus Lusser, VP Global Marketing and Sales, Siemens Medical Solutions Molecular Imaging, told Health Imaging News. “Just by looking at it, you might think it is just CT—you cannot clearly see it has PET at first glance.”

The traditional PET-CT approach is to build the PET scanner next to a CT scanner, Lusser said, with about a 6-foot long tunnel.

The Biograph mCT, which has approximately a 3-foot long tunnel that is 78 cm wide, and has a 500-pound-capacity bed, is designed to accommodate a variety of patients.

Lusser said that the company is seeing a trend in which radiology and nuclear medicine are coming closer together, and with the mCT, is offering administrators and C-levels a product that could fulfill the needs of both departments with one modality, one imaging team and one service contract.

“It is designed to be used as an integrated solution for both—it fits in an average size room, combines high end CT with high end PET so you can offer shared services in one room,” he said. “You can operate the machine as a CT scanner and in parallel, as a PET-CT, which is something not done in a traditional PET-CT environment.”

The mCT can be purchased with different slice-counts, from 40 to 120 slices in CT as well as PET features that range from TrueV extended field-of-view technology to ultraHD-PET.

“We are offering 128-slice CT configuration which is unmatched in the PET arena,” Lusser said, adding CT scanners dominating the PET-CT arena are mainly 16 slice.

It was designed to obtain functional, anatomical and molecular information from one, noninvasive diagnostic exam. With new acquisition modes embedded in the camera, such as adaptive spiral CT, clinicians can perform whole organ perfusion by combining a CT perfusion study with a PET perfusion study to obtain additional information about liver, brain, lung and retroperitoneal tumors.

Additional clinical capabilities include adaptive dose shield, which reduces CT dose through dynamic collimators and eliminates over-radiation before and after every spiral scan.

Lusser said that the system, which is FDA approved, is available globally. Siemens will begin shipments in spring 2009.