Convention Spotlight

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A variety of new systems and products debuted at the 51st annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine in Philadelphia from June 19th through 23rd. Here is a sampling of what was on display on the exhibit show floor.

This year's meeting was the first Society of Nuclear Medicine show for the newly aligned GE Healthcare (formerly GE Medical Systems) after its acquisition of Amersham plc in April 2004.

GE showcased advanced cardiac applications of its Discovery ST PET/CT system. Designed for cardiac imaging, the system aids in detecting coronary atherosclerosis earlier and define more-effective therapies.

HeartFusion aligns the vascular coronary tree created by CT images on the three-dimensional (3D) functional data from PET images. Together, Discovery PET/CT with heart fusion allows physicians to quantify and analyze the impact of atherosclerotic lesions on heart muscle.

GE launched its second-generation Infinia nuclear medicine system. The company said it expects to install more than 250 systems by the end of the year.

Enhanced features of the next-generation system include: a 5-mm CT axial resolution with Hawkeye for enhanced single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) lesion detection; fan beam collimation for brain SPECT scanning efficiency and resolution, and a camera-based positron emission tomography (CBPET) option for extended clinical utility. New detector motions have been added as well to accommodate more patient positions and enhanced productivity, including a camera controlled graphic user interface.

GE introduced its new cyclotron technology designed to help produce a high capacity 18F-F2 target. 18F-F2 is a critical starting point in production, by the electrophilic route of F-DOPA, which is showing potential in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Research using F-DOPA is currently underway at major institutions.

The development is the result of a major collaborative effort with Imanet, a joint venture that began with Amersham plc and a number of PET research centers, and now continues with GE.


Siemens Medical Solutions at SNM 2004 unveiled TruePoint SPECT/CT. The system, which integrates Siemens' e.cam SPECT with its CT technology, can be used in the diagnosis and treatment for cancer, cardiac and neurological diseases. In cardiac applications, TruePoint SPECT/CT will provide information about cardiac function and overall health with its ability to measure attenuation correction with diagnostic multislice CT.

Siemens also introduced the Symbia platform for its TruePoint SPECT/CT. The Symbia platform enables clinicians to utilize the device in three ways to perform three separate studies - SPECT, multislice CT and SPECT/CT. Symbia offers various multislice CT configurations with speeds of up to 0.6 seconds per rotation.

From its family of nuclear medicine products, Siemens demonstrated its biograph PET/CT system. Key features include HI-REZ, a high resolution PET option that can provide greater than 250 percent improvement in volumetric image resolution; the Pico-3D option which provides ultra-fast detector electronics that substantially improve image quality; and a six-slice CT biograph companion to existing two- and 16-slice configurations.

Siemens also unveiled a host of tools that broaden its nuclear medicine system capabilities, and facilitate multi-modality integration. e.soft@LEONARDO is a multi-modality workplace that enables post-processing of images from nuclear medicine, CT, MR, and x-ray, as well as images used for radiation therapy planning. The syngo FusedVision3D is a set of three-dimensional (3D) visualization tools for evaluating multimodality studies. This application offers special image layout for viewing of PET, CT and fused PET/CT images in one display.


Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. featured at SNM 2004 upgrades to its e.soft software now available on the company's t.cam Signature Series variable angle, dual-detector gamma camera system. The new versions include e.soft version 3.5 and e.soft express version 2.0. e.soft version 3.5 improves t.cam's clinical applications by enabling the use of the quality-control activity to motion correct data acquired through profile attenuation correction.

Version 3.5 offers broker activity, which is designed to simplify the integration of third-party applications into the e.soft workflow environment, and the new capability of capturing print areas in JPEG, BMP or EMF formats or any cine