Diagnostic imaging, neurology  

GE's next-generation CT scanner gives rapid imaging of blood vessels in brain and aids stroke diagnosis

2 June 2005

Toronto, Canada. GE's Stroke WorkUp Imaging Application Ushering in a New Era of Rapid, Less Invasive Neurology at University of Michigan.

GE Healthcare's next-generation volume computed tomography (CT) scanner, the LightSpeed VCT, is being used to image the brains of stroke patients at University of Michigan Health System (U-M) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, according to the university's chief of neuroradiology. GE's Stroke WorkUp application was featured at the American Society of Neuroradiology's 43rd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada in May.

In a single rotation, the LightSpeed VCT creates 64 submillimeter images, totaling 40 millimeters of anatomical coverage, which are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's anatomy for the physician to analyze. This speed and resolution are required for rapid examination of blood vessels in the brain (perfusion studies), to provide information to help doctors make an accurate and timely diagnosis of stroke, and to help doctors determine the extent of stroke damage.

"Our ability to visualize the Circle of Willis (a group of arteries surrounding the base of the brain) and the distal vessels of the brain are substantially improved with the LightSpeed VCT," said Suresh Mukherji, M.D., professor of radiology and otolaryngology at U-M.

"We're able to see the smaller vessels in great detail and with rapid scan time, as well as examine the carotid artery that leads from the neck to the brain," said Mukherji.

According to the National Stroke Association (NSA), stroke strikes approximately 750,000 Americans each year, killing approximately 160,000. However, according to the NSA, new treatments can prevent or lessen brain damage and disability if symptoms are recognized early and patients receive immediate attention.

"The LightSpeed VCT offers the speed and resolution required for rapid imaging of blood vessels in the brain, enabling physicians to make an accurate and timely diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment," said Gene Saragnese, Vice President and General Manager Global Functional and Computed Tomography (FCT), GE Healthcare.

About LightSpeed VCT

Within GE Healthcare, LightSpeed VCT is considered an "Imagination Breakthrough" — a major new invention with significant clinical and productivity value for clinicians and patients.

"This breakthrough product is testament to GE's commitment to develop and deliver innovative, lifesaving technologies that benefit both doctors and patients," said Saragnese.

The LightSpeed VCT is able to capture the image of any organ in one second, perform a whole body trauma scan in fewer than 10 seconds, and capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats.

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