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In nuclear medicine, scanners get more sensitive, software more specific

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | June 17, 2019
Molecular Imaging
Canon Celesteion
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Innovations in the PET and SPECT market continue to focus on increased sensitivity in scanners to better diagnose smaller lesions, while shortening exam times and decreasing radiation dose.

At the same time, software companies are assisting clinicians by quantifying information to make more patient-specific interpretations. On the preclinical side, manufacturers are working with researchers to develop the even more sensitive scanners of the future.

Here’s a guide to what’s new in the space, and what to look out for in the next several years.
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Canon Medical Systems
Canon recently announced upgrades to its Celesteion PET/CT system, which has an 88-centimeter PET bore and 90-centimeter CT bore that are designed to improve image quality and workflow, and lower radiation dose.

The improvements include a feature called Variable Bed Time (vBT), which allows clinicians to control the timing of each acquisition per bed position.

“It allows you to do faster acquisition when you need to,” said Tim Nicholson, the leader of strategic development for the CT business unit at Canon Medical Systems. “Before Variable Bed Time, every single acquisition was the same time. If the bed time was four minutes, every single scan was four minutes. Some [scans] only need two minutes.”

The upgrade also provides the ability to do PET ECG gated scanning, offering clinicians the ability to perform PET ECG phase image reconstruction scans.

“This opens up the possibility to do cardiac PET,” Nicholson said.

The upgrade also includes PET respiratory gating, which incorporates respiratory gating into whole-body PET scans in an effort to avoid extra scans and reduce dose.

New reconstruction techniques include Clear Adaptive Low-noise Method (CaLM) +PSF, which improves PET image quality by filtering out noise while maintaining contrast, and Single Energy Metal Artifact Reduction (SEMAR), which uses reconstruction to reduce metallic artifacts.

Digirad Cardius X-ACT+
Digirad released the Cardius X-ACT+, a SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) system, over a year ago.

Along with a rapid imaging detector geometry and a 3D-OSEM reconstruction algorithm, the system includes a feature called TruACQ Count Based Imaging that tells the technologist how long to image a patient based on the counts per second coming from the patient’s heart, maximizing image quality and reducing radiation dose.

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