Diagnostic imaging  

First installations of GE's 64-slice combined PET/CT system

12 June 2006

GE Healthcare has installed the first of its new Discovery VCT 64–slice combination positron emission tomography and volume computed tomography (PET/CT) system. Two systems were simultaneously installed at Brigham and Women's Hospital, USA and in the molecular imaging research institution Turku PET Centre in Finland.

The Discovery VCT marries through the Discovery Dimension platform, the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of GE’s volumetric CT with the high sensitivity breakthrough motion imaging capabilities of its industry leading Discovery PET system. By combining these scanning technologies, the Discovery VCT provides the tools to enable physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify heart disease and other conditions, including cancer and neurological disorders.

“We are entering a new era of less invasive cardiology in which PET/CT imaging will play a major role in managing heart disease,” said Joe Hogan, President and CEO of GE Healthcare. “Combining the functional capabilities of PET with the speed and resolution of volume CT will propel cardiac imaging and has the potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment decisions of heart disease.”

“GE’s Discovery VCT enables me to access essential functional and anatomical patient data, including perfusion map at rest and peak cardiac stress, CT angiography and cardiac calcium score, all in one setting,” said Dr. Marcelo Di Carli, Director of Nuclear Medicine/PET and Co-Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital. “The information made available through the Discovery VCT helps me to quickly and accurately diagnose cardiac patients, helping to eliminate unnecessary invasive diagnostic procedures while guiding more appropriate treatment decisions.”

Professor Juhani Knuuti, Director of the Turku PET Centre in Finland, said, “PET and VCT imaging allows linking the anatomical findings of coronary arteries with the information of myocardial perfusion, function and metabolism. That may improve the accuracy of the assessment of myocardial viability.

“The greatest potential of Discovery VCT though, lies in future applications of molecular imaging, matched with precise anatomical detail in imaging the coronary arteries we will be pursuing using the tools provided in Discovery Dimension motion PET imaging capabilities.”

The LightSpeed VCT is able to noninvasively capture images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats. In a single rotation, the system creates 64 sub-millimetric-thin images, totalling 40 millimetres of anatomical coverage. These images are combined with the Discovery STE metabolic and physiological PET images to form a three-dimensional fused view of the patient’s anatomy and corresponding function for the physician to analyze.

“The Discovery VCT, like the LightSpeed VCT, was built for physicians and molecular imaging researchers based on their clinical needs, from the ground up,” said Gene Saragnese Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare’s global Molecular Imaging and CT business.

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