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

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

“It measures the activity in the patient's heart at the time of imaging to ensure proper count density and to ensure the highest quality diagnostic image possible,” said Martin Shirley, president of diagnostic service at Digirad.

The X-ACT+ also includes fluorescence X-ray attenuation correction, which removes soft tissue artifacts from SPECT images. This tool further lowers radiation dose and improves diagnostic accuracy, providing less false positives than SPECT MPI without attenuation correction, reducing the need for repeat cardiac imaging and reducing needless cardiac catheterizations, Shirley said, citing a 2016 study that looked at the impact of attenuation correction on MPI studies.

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"We're going to get the best possible patient image by combining those two things,” Shirley said of TruACQ Count Based Imaging and fluorescence X-ray attenuation correction.

The scanner also has an open and upright design that is more ergonomic for patients, particularly larger patients, according to the company.

GE Healthcare - 800 Series
GE Healthcare
At last year’s RSNA, GE Healthcare introduced its 800 Series for nuclear medicine, with five systems ranging from the value-based, SPECT-only NM 830 to the NM/CT 870 CZT, with a CZT digital detector that the company says delivers 58 percent increased sensitivity compared to first-generation, general purpose, digital SPECT/CT.

In the scalable series, the NM/CT 850, NM/CT 860, NM/CT 870 DR and the NM/CT 870 CZT all feature SmartConsole, a workflow that automatically reconstructs data, which can be sent to any workstation and any PACS, enabling easier collaboration between technologists and physicians, said Nathan Hermony, vice president and general manager of the molecular imaging division for GE Healthcare.

Instead of the patient having to return for further imaging, or asking the physician to come into the reading room, the physician can provide input while on the go.

“When the bone scan is done and the question is should the tech release the patient or do they need SPECT verses planar imaging in certain areas, or CT in a certain area, a physician can view the images on their browser, can see planar, and can select if and where to do SPECT or CT,” Hermony said. “He can hit return and it gets directly to the camera console.”

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