by Christina Hwang
, Contributing Reporter | May 09, 2016
Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri installed GE Healthcare’s new SPECT/CT system, Discovery NM/CT 670 CZT, to help doctors and researchers at the hospital diagnose and monitor diseases.
According to the company, its the first general purpose, ultra-high resolution SPECT/CT in the industry.
Cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology, a new class of digital detectors, is generally limited to organ-specific devices but the new modality utilizes CZT to directly convert photons into a digital signal, and this allows doctors to perform exams on every organ, including whole-body exams.
Doctors can detect smaller lesions and quantify them more accurately due to the increased spatial and contrast resolution, according to the announcement, and can help in assessing and monitoring patient responses to therapies while reducing dose injected.
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“This system is designed to allow clinicians to optimize dose or scan time. This gives clinicians an opportunity customize based on the clinical needs of the patient,” Nathan Hermony, general manager of nuclear medicine at GE, told HCB News.
Additionally, patients can have multiple scans completed in a single visit since physicians can simultaneously visualize and analyze multiple physiological processes in the patient.
“Optimizing the duration of the exams or the injected dose represents not only an improvement for the patient experience, but also helps increase the operational and financial efficiency of hospitals,” Dr. Barry A. Siegel, professor of radiology and medicine, senior vice chair and division director of nuclear medicine at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University, told HCB News.
Quantification is important since it helps determine how a patient is responding to therapy, Siegel added, and having the ability to complete multiple scans in a single visit and reduce the dose injected or the scan time will improve patient experience.
Facilities that own a Discovery NM/CT 670 Pro system can upgrade to the new system in the future, said Hermony, and the upgrade requires a swap of the detector heads, so physicians can avoid long start-up delays or have room renovations.
Since its installation, over 60 patients have been scanned using the system.
The physicians treating patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital include 750 clinical faculty of Washington University School of Medicine who treat adults, and the only other facility to have installed this new system is Rambam Hospital in Israel.
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