s05a.jpg (10669 bytes)While RSNA is not as nuclear medicine intensive as the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine (Reston, Va.), the imaging modality likely will garner its share of due attention with the advent of fusion imaging.

Some nuclear medicine professionals refer to the budding technique of combining imaging modalities — such as PET (positron emission tomography) with CT and/or MRI — to image and explore structural and anatomical information simultaneously as fused image tomography. Whatever the combination, the positive effect likely will ripple through several modalities.

Siemens Medical Systems Inc. (Iselin, N.J.) will feature five technological and clinical advances in PET and nuclear medicine at this year’s RSNA meeting.

In PET, Siemens will show as a works-in-progress the first integrated PET/CT system that integrates ECAT HR+ premium PET technology with a diagnostic-quality Emotion CT system.

A second PET notable will be the introduction of the first whole-body dedicated PET scanner, featuring proprietary LSO detector technology. The works-in-progress can perform whole-body studies in approximately 20 minutes, raising a two-fold increase in throughput over current generation PET devices.

Siemens also will debut the first hybrid PET/SPECT camera, the E.Cam duet, based on a unique one-inch segmented sodium iodide crystal. The system increases PET efficiency a factor of four and high energy single photon studies a factor of two over other system designs. Siemens says its E.Cam duet enhances both quality or productivity, while retaining the ability to perform superb imaging for general nuclear medicine procedures.

In the area of computers, efficient user configurable clinical workflows, will be demonstrated on Siemens’ new e.soft nuclear medicine workstation, as well as the ability to offer seamless connectivity to other imaging modalities via Siemens’ common syngo software foundation.

SMV America (Twinsburg, Ohio) brings a couple of new products to the RSNA floor this year.

SMV’s PosiTrace, which combines a dedicated PET camera designed for whole-body FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose) imaging with a clinical CT scanner for oncology imaging, received FDA clearance in September. The company expects to have its first U.S. installation in November. At RSNA, SMV will show CT/PET studies to demonstrate the PosiTrace camera’s dual-mode imaging capability over PET-only scanners.

ProFusion is a multimodality image fusion software package that incorporates sophisticated algorithms for purposes of registering and fusing any combination of CT, MRI, SPECT or PET data sets. Anatomical and functional data sets are integrated in a 3D diagnostic display. Flex3D, the company’s polynomial-warping algorithm, enables ProFusion to register and resize volumes. The package also utilizes Visualization Data Explorer, advanced 3D software from IBM (Armonk, N.Y.).

MPXtreme, a new computer platform for SMV’s PosiTrace dual-mode oncology imaging camera, is based on the IBM RS/6000 platform and incorporates some of IBM’s newest technology, such as copper-based chipset, an advanced 3D graphics accelerator and ultra-high-speed data rates.

ADAC Laboratories Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.) will introduce a PET scanner at RSNA 2000 based on the new detector material, GSO (gadolinium-oxyorthosilicate). ADAC says the product represents the next generation in PET imaging, leading to significant improvement in image quality and substantial decrease in imaging time.

ADAC also will introduce for the first time the production version of its gantry-less Skylight camera. This production system will demonstrate the capabilities of the Skylight imaging system and allow show attendees to evaluate the room layout, imaging capabilities, patient table and collimator exchanger.

Marconi Medical Systems (Highland Heights, Ohio) hopes to turn heads with its new gPETAZ, which was released at this year’s annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. The triple-head coincidence imaging digital detector hardware provides uniform sensitivity and improved lesion detectability. It also has a larger aperture, which allows the scanning of a wider variety of patients.

Marconi also will show its Beacon P attenuation correction product, which will be available on both the Axis and Irix in the first half of 2001. All Axis and Irix customers can get this as an option to the base system and gain advanced electronic collimation.

Also showing in Marconi’s booth will be its second-generation image fusion 2 or image volume registration. This product lets users combine physiologic and anatomical information into one image for improved diagnostic capability.

The product doesn’t have a name yet, but is scheduled to be available in the first six months of the calendar year.

“With this product, as long as a site has DICOM image transfer capability, they can fuse images from any manufacturer’s system with an MRI, CT or any nuclear medicine computer,” says Gina Larkin, Marconi’s manger of nuclear medicine marketing.

GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.) debuts its new GE Advance whole-body PET system. The GE Advance NXi is designed for routine 2D and 3D clinical studies, as well as research applications, and can image all available PET tracers.

GEMS says the GE Advance NXi high-speed detection system produces high-resolution image quality without sacrificing the count rate performance and sensitivity necessary for fast whole-body acquisitions. The system also has a repertoire of upgrades that include scaleable reconstruction processing options, DICOM compatible image registration and fusion (MRI and CT), quantitative modeling packages and optional reconstruction packages.

The company also plans to display its GE Millennium VG gamma camera. The modular system features a variable-geometry gantry, which allows the detectors to move into 90- and 180-degree positions. The slip-ring design permits continuous rotation for all SPECT studies.

GEMS’ Hawkeye now is commercially available, having received FDA clearance in the middle of this year. Hawkeye is an optional functional anatomical mapping and attenuation correction feature offered on the GE Millennium VG dual-head variable angle gamma camera. It consists of a CT unit that acquires transmission data inherently registered with nuclear emission data.

The Hawkeye system consists of an

X-ray source and CT detector mounted on a VG gantry slip-ring rotor. It is completely integrated with the gamma camera, using the same acquisition station and the same gantry. This design ensures that the physiological and anatomical images are inherently registered.

Also new at RSNA 2000 is the GE entegra functional imaging workstation, a high-performance system that combines a Windows NT operating system with the latest Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) Pentium processor to provide an array of clinical nuclear medicine applications.

The GE entegra’s open architecture and AutoTab filing system provides an intuitive graphical user interface resulting in reduced training times and increased productivity. The use of off-the-shelf hardware allows GEMS to provide affordable performance as workstation performance increases.

Positron Corp. (Houston) will focus its exhibit on the mPower camera. The high sensitivity of the camera is designed to give the user a greater ability to see minute malignancies and perform total body and neurological studies, as well as cardiac. The mPower camera’s field-of-use is the highest in the industry, at 16.6 centimeters, enabling faster throughput.

Now that Positron has its whole-body system completed, it will show a works-in-progress that will demonstrate the continued evolution of Positron’s PET systems. Demonstrations of performance enhancements that will allow for greater throughput and increased resolution will be shown at RSNA.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS of Tustin, Calif.) plans to show new software applications and workstation enhancements for its T.Cam gamma cameras. Among the enhancements are the automatic registration tool, which automatically matches the position and size of two tomographic images and superimposes them for display.

The e.soft workstation from TAMS will offer quantitative gated SPECT capabilities, quantitative perfusion SPECT and gated blood pool SPECT.

Berlex Laboratories Inc. (Wayne, N.J.) ventures to RSNA to promote new and existing pharmaceuticals for radiology and nuclear medicine. Among them:

• Magnevist injection (gadopentetate dimeglumine), introduced in 1988;

• Feridex I.V. (ferumoxides injectable solution), available from Berlex since 1996, is a contrast agent used in the detection and evaluation of liver lesions; and

• Ultravist injection (iopromide), a nonionic, iodinated, radiologic contrast agent, is used in CT, cardiac catheterization labs and interventional angiography.

The company also will showcase Quadramet, which offers relief of cancer pain associated with metastatic bone lesions; NeoTect, for identifying somatostatin receptor-bearing pulmonary masses; and AcuTect, for scintigraphic imaging of acute deep vein thrombosis in the lower extremities. Berlex also will have available a comprehensive line of Tc99m radiopharmaceutical kits. end.gif (810 bytes)