GE’s ASIR gains foothold in CT community

May 19, 2010

GE Healthcare jumped ahead of competitors in the race to cut patient dose with the commercial release in 2008 of its Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR), the first software to clean up CT images and, in the process, allow dramatic reductions -- up to 50% -- in patient radiation dose. In the first day of this year’s ISCT symposium, iterative reconstruction was hailed repeatedly as the leading solution to the hottest issue in CT patient safety.

GE Healthcare jumped ahead of competitors in the race to cut patient dose with the commercial release in 2008 of its Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR), the first software to clean up CT images and, in the process, allow dramatic reductions-up to 50%-in patient radiation dose. In the first day of this year’s ISCT symposium, iterative reconstruction was hailed repeatedly as the leading solution to the hottest issue in CT patient safety.

Yet providers have been slow to adopt this technology. Only about 330 CTs are currently running ASIR, despite being standard on GE’s flagship, the Discovery CT750 HD, since the end of 2008, commercially available on the VCT since mid-2009, and available outside the U.S on the BrightSpeed 16 for a year. ASIR is also available as a field upgrade for certain high-performance systems.

But J. Eric Stahre, GE’s general manager of global premium CT, says he is pleased with the market reception, explaining that ASIR represents a new kind of technology and the CT community is following a longstanding pattern of cautious adoption. Momentum is building and will continue to do so, Stahre said, as scientific presentations on the clinical value of ASIR mount.

More than 20 speakers at RSNA 2009 documented the ability of the technology to cut patient dose substantially, he said. Others have addressed this ability at the ISCT symposium. One said ASIR is to the current standard, filtered back projection, as color television was to black and white. Incorporating model-based (MBIR) algorithms, the next generation of IR, the speaker said, will take IR to the CT equivalent of LED-based TVs.

MBIR is currently in testing at GE luminary sites and will be commercialized later this year outside the U.S. It will not, however, take the place of ASIR, according to Stahre. It will be used on special cases, complementing, rather than replacing, ASIR.