SPECT/CT replaces standard detector with flat-panel x-ray

August 1, 2008

Philips Healthcare put a new twist on SPECT/CT with the unveiling at the SNM meeting in June of a hybrid that incorporates a flat-panel x-ray system in place of the typical multislice CT. The novel combination is attuned specifically to the needs of specialists in nuclear medicine, said Jay Mazelsky, senior vice president and general manager of Philips nuclear medicine.

Philips Healthcare put a new twist on SPECT/CT with the unveiling at the SNM meeting in June of a hybrid that incorporates a flat-panel x-ray system in place of the typical multislice CT. The novel combination is attuned specifically to the needs of specialists in nuclear medicine, said Jay Mazelsky, senior vice president and general manager of Philips nuclear medicine.

"BrightView XCT provides the localization and attenuation correction, fits the budget, has relatively low complexity, and doesn't require special training for technologists," Mazelsky said. "These things are important for the nuclear medicine user."

The XCT design is compact enough to allow siting in the same 12 × 15-foot room as the SPECT camera alone. As with other hybrids, SPECT and CT scans done during the same examination eliminate the need to reregister the data.

When it begins shipping next year, the BrightView XCT, slated to begin beta testing in Q1 2009, will occupy an appealing financial niche in the Philips portfolio of SPECT/CT hybrids. Its price will fall somewhere between the $700,000 six-slice Precedence SPECT/CT and the $350,000 Bright­View gamma camera, which captures the SPECT data as

part of the BrightView XCT.

The x-ray system built into the new hybrid is what provides the cost flexibility, as its flat-panel detector costs substantially less than conventional CT detectors.

The BrightView XCT detector still captures data that can be turned into volumetric reconstructions, however, while delivering high-resolution images up to 15 line pairs/cm, according to Mazelsky. A side benefit is a two-thirds reduction in patient x-ray dose compared with multislice CT.

Volumetric data reconstructions are performed using software developed for the XCT. This software, also introduced at the SNM meeting, is made up of a nuclear medicine application portfolio that runs on Philips' Extended Brilliance Work­space (EBW), a workstation developed specifically to be used with the company's imaging modalities.

Philips currently runs its JetStream software on the EBW workstation. Nuclear medicine departments will be able to buy versions of the more advanced application portfolio early next year for use in both scanners. The scalable software will allow buyers the option to upgrade from SPECT to SPECT/CT, if and when the need arises, Mazelsky said.

-By Greg Freiherr