PET/CT dominated nuclear medicine offerings, as it has for several years. Citing opinions expressed by academic luminaries, vendors spoke about the prospect of this hybrid technology replacing stand-alone PET. The increased speed and demonstrated ability
PET/CT dominated nuclear medicine offerings, as it has for several years. Citing opinions expressed by academic luminaries, vendors spoke about the prospect of this hybrid technology replacing stand-alone PET. The increased speed and demonstrated ability of PET/CT to deliver information crucial to patient management provided the impetus for this prediction. All but lost in the shuffle was the mainstay of nuclear medicine, the gamma camera. Upgrades continue to appear, but the gamma camera's contributions to clinical medicine continue to be overshadowed by PET/CT.
CTI Molecular Imaging
The company was a pioneer in PET development, but until the last few years it seemed content to work in the shadows. CTI supplied PET scanners to Siemens Medical Solutions through CTI PET Systems, a joint venture with Siemens that has been renamed CPS Innovations. The exclusive agreement between CPS Innovations and Siemens ended in 2001, paving the way for CPS to begin supplying other companies, such as Hitachi, as well as selling PET systems directly. CPS is best known for its proprietary lutetium oxyorthosilicate (LSO) crystal technology. CTI also designs and manufacturers cyclotrons and PET chemistry systems.
Last year, CTI Molecular Imaging acquired software developer Mirada Solutions, principally for its image analysis and fusion software. Advanced versions have been integrated into a PET scanner workstation.
GE Medical Systems
The company was among the first to integrate CT and PET, helping to precipitate a major new avenue of oncologic evaluation and patient management. Advanced technologies now drive the development of GE's PET/CT products, as the company has trimmed the footprint of its flagship hybrid Discovery LS scanner and tweaked its performance and that of other fusion-based systems, such as the Hawkeye SPECT/CT platform.
Hitachi Medical Systems America
Hitachi is a relative newcomer to PET, having begun marketing its Sceptre PET system only about 18 months ago. The value-priced PET scanner is supplied by CPS Innovations.
Philips Medical Systems
Merger and acquisition fever brought ADAC Laboratories to the Philips family in 2000. The corporate acquisition provided Philips with one of the most extensive lines of gamma cameras and PET scanners in the industry. Only in the last few years, however, has Philips been able to capitalize on its CT and PET holdings, introducing the Gemini PET/CT in 2001. The unique dual-ring configuration of the Gemini allows the hybrid scanner to operate as one unit or be divided into separate CT and PET scanners. SkyLight was introduced in 2000 as the first gantryless gamma camera, buoying gamma cameras with conventional designs, such as the company's Forte product.
Siemens Medical Systems
Siemens has benefited from a long-time investment in CPS Innovations, its joint venture with CTI Molecular Imaging. An advanced scintillator and faster electronics, provided by CPS, have allowed the company to produce one of the most evolved PET systems. Siemens has returned the favor to CTI, providing its multidetector CT scanners for integration into that company's PET/CTs. Siemens' own line of PET/CT scanners, called biograph, gained a new family member at the RSNA meeting, and its flagship capabilities were enhanced.
Toshiba America Medical Systems
A strategic alliance with Siemens provides the cornerstone for Toshiba's t.cam variable-angle, dual-detector gamma camera, as well as the e.soft Signature Series workstation. Toshiba's e.soft version 3.0 for nuclear medicine was introduced with workflow enhancements and 3D imaging tools.