ADAC banks on new GSO crystal for PET imaging enhancements

July 5, 2000

ADAC’s goal of becoming a leader in the PET imaging market will be attained only by using superior technology in its products, according to CEO Gary Burbach. The company is moving swiftly toward that goal with a few upcoming innovations, and it

ADAC’s goal of becoming a leader in the PET imaging market will be attained only by using superior technology in its products, according to CEO Gary Burbach. The company is moving swiftly toward that goal with a few upcoming innovations, and it expects PET sales to quadruple in fiscal 2000, he said.

The company received FDA approval in May for its Skylight gantry-free gamma camera. At this year’s Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting, ADAC unveiled the C-PET Plus, an addition to a C-PET scanner still being developed. Next year, it will market a PET scanner that will incorporate a crystal used by no other medical imaging system, according to company officials.

The crystal—gadolinium oxyortho silicate, or GSO—has the potential to be superior to any imaging material on the market, said Mohamed Elmandjra, ADAC’s vice president and general manager for marketing.

The crystal will allow better quality PET imaging because of its higher energy resolution and high count rate capabilities.

GSO is manufactured by Hitachi Chemical of Japan. Satellites with GSO aboard have been sent into space to detect gamma sources, and GSO has been placed in detectors searching for oil underground, said Toshinori Takeyama of Marubeni Specialty Chemicals, which markets GSO in Japan for Hitachi Chemical.

Because of its high density and faster rate of decay, GSO absorbs light more quickly and thereby contributes to faster image acquisition, Takeyama said.

ADAC will be the first medical imaging manufacturer to use GSO in a PET system, Elmandjra said. Part of GSO’s advantage comes from its molecular structure. Other crystals used by ADAC’s competitors have a lower yield during the manufacturing stage, Elmandjra said.

ADAC will use GSO with a prototype PET system that will hit the market in mid-2001, Elmandjra said. It is unclear, however, if the final product will be a PET body imager or brain imager.

Until then, ADAC is offering new versions of existing models, such as the C-PET Plus. The system is smaller than competing models, has lower installation and operating costs, and images faster, Elmandjra said. Additionally, FDG costs are lower for the C-PET Plus because the system requires 5 millicuries of FDG instead of the usual 10 millicuries. Attenuation correction, an artifact-reduction method used in PET systems, does not require changing sources as frequently.

“The approach we take does not require changing radioactive sources every nine to 12 months. Our radioactive sources are good for 30 years,” Elmandjra said.