GE boosts PET/CT image quality

June 5, 2007

GE Healthcare chipped away at problems besetting PET/CT image quality with software for its Discovery product line that reduces motion artifact and increases resolution. The

GE Healthcare chipped away at problems besetting PET/CT image quality with software for its Discovery product line that reduces motion artifact and increases resolution. The software was introduced at the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting June 3 to 6.

The newly released version of VUE Point, with postprocessing tools and motion correction techniques, is included in the Discovery Dimension console, an integral part of all GE PET/CT scanners. The software's motion correction techniques improve lesion detection and quantitative accuracy by minimizing the blurring from mismatches between PET and CT data as a result of respiratory and cardiac motion.

VUE Point's functionality will drive both the diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of PET/CT, said Hadi Moufarrej, global general manager of molecular imaging for GE nuclear medicine and PET.

"We match the PET images together and synchronize them with a single slice of CT that we use for attenuation correct, so we get the registration of the whole cycle together," Moufarrej said.

Now shipping on GE's new scanners and scheduled to become available to the installed base by the end of summer, VUE Point improves image quality as well. The result is a 20% improvement in resolution, to about 3.2 mm at 10 cm outside the center of the field-of-view and to under 3 mm at the FOV sweet spot, according to Moufarrej.

Work is now under way to virtually eliminate the effect of physiological motion on PET/CT, according to Gene L. Saragnese, vice president and general manager of molecular imaging and CT at GE.

"Further in the future, we plan to take these images and combine multiple phases of data to get advantages of all the counts, taking into consideration all the motion that might have an effect," Saragnese said. "In this way, we can increase the capabilities of PET in both sensitivity and specificity."

Improvements in image quality are heightened by the addition of a volume computer- assisted reading technology (VCAR) that the company has migrated from CT to PET/CT. The VCAR version, launched at the SNM meeting and expected to begin shipping by the end of September, can compare past PET/CT studies with the current one. This helps in managing patient therapy, as tumor growth or shrinkage can be more easily and accurately assessed.

"From the first day, you can see the tumor and watch it until treatment is finished," Moufarrej said. "You can quantify it and see how it evolves to learn if treatment is effective."