GE launches 64-slice PET/CT

November 29, 2005

GE Healthcare joined the ranks of believers in mega-slice PET/CT with the formal release of its Discovery VCT on the RSNA exhibit floor. The 64-slice hybrid, shown as a work in progress at the 2004 meeting, will compete with the Siemens biograph 64 and Philips Gemini GXL, both 64-slice PET/CT scanners launched one year ago.

GE Healthcare joined the ranks of believers in mega-slice PET/CT with the formal release of its Discovery VCT on the RSNA exhibit floor. The 64-slice hybrid, shown as a work in progress at the 2004 meeting, will compete with the Siemens biograph 64 and Philips Gemini GXL, both 64-slice PET/CT scanners launched one year ago.

Over the past several years, PET/CT has been widely adopted by the oncology community. Hybrids configured with 64-slice CTs may pave the way to a new cardiology market for this technology. GE's new Discovery VCT is being targeted specifically for cardiac applications.

Sixty-four-slice CTs show extraordinary detail in coronary CTA and promise to complement functional assessments of the heart possible with PET. Slowing the adoption of this technology, however, will be the lack of an optimal PET imaging agent for cardiac applications.

Rubidium currently supports myocardial perfusion studies with PET, but it is costly and cumbersome to produce. The radionuclide is created at clinical sites using a "generator" - radioactive strontium that rapidly decays into rubidium.

GE, a pioneer of hybrid imaging, has invested more than $160 million in the

research and development of hybrid imaging technology, according to the company, and holds 25 related patents. The company launched the era of fusion imaging in 1999 with its SPECT/CT Millennium VG Hawkeye. Its PET/CT Discovery LS followed two years later.

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