GE looks toward cardiac imaging applications

March 8, 2004

GE Medical Systems is using the European Congress of Radiology to introduce two new hardware options with potential benefit to cardiovascular radiology.The company is adding to its range of digital fluoroscopy offerings with an imaging system optimized

GE Medical Systems is using the European Congress of Radiology to introduce two new hardware options with potential benefit to cardiovascular radiology.

The company is adding to its range of digital fluoroscopy offerings with an imaging system optimized to perform cardiac, angiography, and interventional studies. Introduction of clinical volume CT on the LightSpeed series of CT scanners is also expected to aid cardiac applications.

GE has designed its new digital radioscopy/fluoroscopy and angio system with both radiologists and cardiologists in mind, according to Hadi Moufarrej, GE Medical's general manager for surgery, x-ray, and interventional imaging. The Innova 3100 is being billed as the first combination flat-panel detector of its kind.

The 3100 joins the Innova 4100 interventional radiology system and the Innova 2000 for cardiology in GE's growing family of flat-panel digital detectors. All are based on amorphous silicon technology. The new arrival sits in the middle ground in terms of field-of-view and price point.

"A lot of hospitals cannot afford to buy two separate systems," Moufarrej said. "This combo system is a compromise on the size."

GE is also promoting the likely advantage of its new volume CT detector technology to cardiovascular studies, which is enabling release of the LightSpeed VCT, a 64-slice scanner with 40-mm coverage.

"The existing 16-slice CT protocol takes between 20 to 25 seconds to image the heart, and it is typically done with 100 to 150 cc of contrast. With the LightSpeed VCT you'll be able to image the heart with full resolution in five seconds," said Scott Schubert, GE's global manager for VCT. "The challenge in cardiac CT imaging is how you get perfect cardiac images for 50 patients in a row, each with differently sized hearts that are beating at different rates."

Introduction of GE's 64-slice CT at ECR is the latest salvo in the CT slice wars. Toshiba announced imminent release of a 32-slice scanner just before the RSNA meeting. Philips Medical Systems and Siemens Medical Solutions used the Chicago gathering to unveil 40- and 64-slice solutions, respectively.

GE has just received 510(k) clearance for its new scanner from the FDA and plans to start marketing the LightSpeed VCT around May or June 2004. Shipping is expected to commence toward the end of this year.