Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging

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Vendors are focusing on fusion imaging with variations in design, logistics and more targeted, tailored imaging. As medicine moves toward achieving earlier and better disease detection, vendors are fine tuning their offerings to allow for better sensitivity and spatial resolution. Several vendors highlighted their products' flexibility when it comes to customizing for workflow and other specific user needs. Overall, molecular imaging vendors showed off their new priority with prominent booth position, through a few alliances with pharmaceutical companies developing biomarkers and a look into clinical and preclinical applications. This market is just dawning - but there's true excitement in the air.

Gamma Medica-Ideas introduced an upgrade suite for its X-SPECT Pre-Clinical Imaging System, which includes three major enhancements for pre-clinical SPECT imaging. SuperSPECT is a reconstruction module that goes beyond traditional reconstruction methods in which spatial resolution can be no finer than the size of a gamma camera's pinhole aperture. In traditional pinhole imaging, to achieve a two-fold improvement in resolution, one has to accept a four-fold loss in sensitivity. Gamma Medica has eliminated this tradeoff by achieving a two-fold improvement in resolution with no resulting loss in sensitivity at all, the company says. SpiralSPECT is an image scanning feature that allows X-SPECT users to obtain high-resolution images of large subjects in a single procedure. Currently, when performing SPECT imaging, researchers place pinhole collimators on gamma cameras to obtain high-resolution images, but the tradeoff for this high resolution is a smaller field of view. SpiralSPECT allows users to obtain high-resolution images of larger subject areas. Multi-Pinhole Imaging is a SPECT imaging hardware and software upgrade that allows X-SPECT users to improve the sensitivity of their MicroSPECT images. Gamma Medica's Multi-Pinhole Imaging package, by collecting multiple parallel images of the same subject and adding them together, allows users to take full advantage of high-resolution gamma cameras in a way that achieves a high-sensitivity breakthrough while preserving the high-spatial resolution benefits of small-pinhole imaging.

GE Healthcare showcased at RSNA its new molecular imaging system designed to help physicians detect, diagnose and monitor treatment of cancer and other diseases more accurately and earlier in the disease process. The Discovery STE is a fusion of the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE's CT scanner and the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its industry leading PET scanner. The new Discovery Dimension Console is fully integrated to optimize PET/CT workflow and provides a wider range of choices to meet patient's clinical needs, enabling physicians to simultaneously complete a static image and 4D motion study in one acquisition; perform advanced image reconstruction techniques of 2D and 3D; and tailor the CT x-ray dose to each patient, a capability that can reduce dose by up to 40 percent, GE says.

Driven by the desire to better understand the molecular make-up of disease, GE recently initiated deployment of PET/CT research units to premiere clinical partner sites. These units are expected to generate data that will broaden PET/CT technology applications beyond cancer care.

GE Healthcare's next-generation SPECT/CT hybrid system, the Infinia Hawkeye 4, combines GE's industry-leading Infinia gamma camera with an optimized 4-slice CT, offering speed and quality enhancements. The Infinia Hawkeye 4 SPECT/CT system provides 5 millimeter slices for approximately half the scan time. Infinia Hawkeye systems are integrated with the Xeleris workstations to enhance productivity using Ignite technology, a unique feature that enables the operator to complete a scan-and-review cycle in a single click. The Xeleris workstation delivers state-of-the-art processing speed, innovative productivity tools, and built-in connectivity to various imaging systems, as well as PACS.

GE Healthcare also introduced the PETtrace External Beam Line technology that offers GE PETtrace cyclotron users the ability to increase their research and development capacity. This new product was developed as part of a collaboration with Hevesy Laboratory, a major contributor in the Nordic region of PET imaging applications development. GE's PETtrace External Beam Line technology is the enabler of flexible utilization of cyclotrons,