Siemens, MGH explore prototype volume CT for in-vitro, in-vivo scanning research

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Siemens Medical Solutions and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a prototype area-detector based, volume computed tomography (CT) system that is based on a Siemens Somatom Sensation CT gantry and uses two-dimensional digital flat-panel detector technology.
   
Principles and potential applications of volumetric CT scanning are being evaluated at MGH with the prototype system, Siemens said. The volume CT prototype system is designed to be suitable for in-vitro imaging of specimens, as well as in-vivo imaging of large animals and eventually human research.
   
The system features volume coverage of 18 cm with up to 768 CT slices per rotation. The technology has the promise of offering a unique window on human anatomy and physiology. For example, using volume CT, a medical professional could directly visualize the trabecular structure of bone, dynamic contrast uptake of tumor tissue, composition of atherosclerotic plaque in the vascular system and coronary arteries, and micro-circulation of the cardiac muscle, Siemens said.
   
"With the advent of these systems, volume scanning would become feasible, possibly opening up a whole spectrum of new applications such as functional or volume perfusion studies," said Rajiv Gupta, MD, director, Volume CT Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital.