Friday, September 11, 2009


As a Nuclear Radiologist, I consider nuking is a good thing.

I think GE finally decided to listen to me. I have whined in the past about their Hawkeye's lack of diagnostic CT capability, in spite of all their efforts to convince me that it didn't matter. GE appears to now believe me, at least in the realm of cardiac SPECT/CT.

GE announced the Discovery NM/CT 570c last March, at the ACC meeting. The machine is geared toward cardiology, but it contains some significant advances that will apply to other realms.

First, GE finally saw the light, and attached a 64-slice Lightspeed VCT to the Discovery. This is a miracle in and of itself, and allows for high-end cardiac CT applicatons such as Calcium Scoring and CTA as well as CT-based attenuation correction. And did I mention that this will yield diagnostic CT images??

The potentially-revolutionary part of the 570c involves something called "Alcyone" technology. From,
Alcyone technology brings together a breakthrough design based on combining CZT detectors, focused pin-hole collimation, stationary data acquisition and 3D reconstruction, to improve workflow, dose management, and overall image quality. Unlike conventional nuclear imaging, all views are acquired simultaneously during a fully stationary SPECT acquisition, eliminating equipment movement during the scan and reducing the risk of motion artifacts. CZT detectors directly convert gamma rays into digital signals, eliminating the need for photomultiplier tubes, but maintaining high stopping power to deliver improved energy, spatial and temporal resolution.
It's sort of ironic that Philips took the alternative approach of solid-state CT detectors for their Brightview XCT scanner.

Notice that the GE Discovery has the CZT detectors mounted at 90 degrees from each other, optimal for cardiac work, but not for other applications.

My sources tell me that this will be remedied within the next month or so, when GE will introduce a general nuclear medicine (or maybe oncology?) version of the Discovery. Maybe they'll call it the 570d (for Dalai, of course) or more likely simply the 570. This will be worthy of a look, as a direct competitor to my longtime favorite, the Siemens Symbia.

The Discovery NM/CT 570c is presently installed only at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel and at the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. I would be honored to have a look at either facility. I do wonder where the first non-cardiac version will be placed. . .

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I have to decide in the coming couple of days between this all purpose 16 rows GE SPECT CT, or the Siemens one.

The AW is appealing and the cardiac vessel IQ fused images are so eye-candy....not to mntion AZIR.

My heart is balancing, and at this precize moment I am switching from Siemens to GE, wich i could reconsider this afternoon if Siemens offers a TRUE 64 CT (detector of 40mm and not 20).

Cheers Dalai , you re my favorite medical imaging blog!!

Patrick Auffret