GE launches new SPECT/CT unit at SNM show

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A new SPECT/CT system with four-slice CT capability led the new product introductions at the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) conference for GE Healthcare. The Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., company also highlighted its PET/CT technology, and debuted new workstation software, a raft of new cyclotron products, and a new SPECT animal imaging system.

GE was the first company to develop a SPECT/CT system when it introduced Millennium VG Hawkeye in 1999, but Hawkeye uses single-slice CT technology, and GE's competitors have recently introduced SPECT/CT units with multislice CT. Infinia Hawkeye 4 raises the ante by making four-slice CT available on the system.

Hawkeye 4 is designed to respond to clinicians who valued the image fusion capabilities offered by Hawkeye, but wanted faster imaging times and improved image resolution. When matched with the company's Evolution for Bone reconstruction tools, users are finding that they can conduct two multiple field-of-view SPECT/CT studies 50% faster than previously possible, according to Hadi Moufarrej, general manager of global functional imaging.

Three Hawkeye 4 systems have been installed, and every GE Infinia gamma camera sold in the past three years can upgrade to the new technology, the company said.

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Infinia Hawkeye 4 took center stage in GE's booth.

GE also recently began commercial shipments of its Discovery VCT hybrid PET/CT system, which marries a PET camera with a 64-slice CT system. The first installation of the system was made at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston two weeks before the show, and GE touted the cardiac imaging capabilities of the device.

On the workstation side, GE launched Exeleris 2, a new version of its nuclear medicine workstation platform that features the Exeleris Floating License (XFL) concept. XFL enables physicians to view and process nuclear medicine studies from their own PCs throughout the healthcare enterprise. Exeleris 2 also includes cardiac software, like Emory Cardiac Toolbox.

Another new software introduction, Dynamic Vue, is designed for use in cardiac PET applications on the Discovery Dimension console that is used with the company's Discovery STE and Discovery VCT PET/CT systems. It is also available on GE's AW Workstation.

GE also received clearance in May from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for CardIQ Fusion, a heart image fusion package that was used by researchers at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland to create the image that received Image of the Year honors at SNM 2006.

Physicians can use Dynamic Vue to perform qualitative analysis of myocardial tissue to better determine the extent of disease and select appropriate treatment options. Clinicians can perform analyses including summing over selected temporal windows, and extracting multiple regions of interest (ROIs) from which the time activity curves (TACs) can be extracted. Dynamic Vue can also perform analyses of dynamic ECG- and respiratory-gated studies.

In GE's cyclotron business, the company's highlights included a methane target system for carbon-11 production on GE's PETtrace cyclotron family; PETtrace 18F2 Proton System for boosting PETtrace's capacity to produce fluorine-18; PETtrace External Beam Line to improve the flexibility of PETtrace in R&D applications; and PETtrace 10, the latest generation of GE's cyclotron family. GE also demonstrated as a work-in-progress the addition of a new cassette to its FASTlab tracer synthesis system for producing fluorodeoxythymidine (FLT).

Small-animal imaging for R&D applications was hot at this year's SNM meeting, and GE joined the fray by introducing EXplore speCZT, which uses cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) solid-state digital detector technology. The system is designed to detect, localize, measure, and quantify very small differences in radiotracer uptake within the same animal, over time, and across multiple animals in a repeatable and reproducible manner, according to the company.

By staff writers
June 7, 2006

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