GE Healthcare introduces world's first volumetric PET/CT System
30 November 2005
Chicago, USA. GE Healthcare introduced the company's new Discovery VCT,
which it says is the world's first true 64-slice combination positron
emission tomography and volume computed tomography (PET/CT) system for
cardiac imaging applications.
Launched at the RSNA2005 congress in Chicago, GE's new Discovery VCT has
the potential to transform the way physicians diagnose and treat heart
disease and other life-threatening illnesses.
The Discovery VCT marries the high-speed, high-resolution capabilities of
GE's volumetric CT with the metabolic and physiologic capabilities of its
industry leading PET system. By combining these scanning technologies, the
Discovery VCT provides the tools to enable physicians to more accurately
diagnose and identify heart disease and other conditions, including cancer
and neurological disorders.
"We are entering a new era of less invasive cardiovascular imaging in
which volumetric PET/CT imaging will play a major role in managing heart
disease," said Joe Hogan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare. "Combining the
functional capabilities of PET with the speed and resolution of volume CT
will revolutionize cardiovascular imaging and transform the diagnosis and
treatment decisions of heart disease."
Much like a gardener can visually assess areas of a lawn that are not
getting sufficient water supply, using PET technology a physician can assess
areas of the heart that are not getting sufficient blood supply, and, as a
result, are not viable. To determine the root cause of a problem lawn, a
gardener can look for blockages in the irrigation system; similarly, a
physician can look for stenosis in the coronary arteries using the
volumetric CT technology. The combination of these capabilities in a single
system, the Discovery VCT, will provide the most comprehensive view of a
"By combining GE's PET and volumetric CT capabilities, the Discovery VCT
will enable physicians to access essential functional and anatomical patient
data, including perfusion map at rest and peak cardiac stress, CT
angiography and cardiac calcium score, all in one setting," said Dr. Marcelo
Di Carli, director of Nuclear Medicine/PET and co-director of Cardiovascular
Imaging at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The information made
available through Discovery VCT images will help physicians quickly and
accurately diagnose cardiovascular patients, eliminating unnecessary
invasive diagnostic procedures while guiding more appropriate treatment
GE originally designed the LightSpeed VCT, the world's first volume CT
system introduced in 2004, to easily integrate with its PET technology. GE
recently announced the 500th installation of the LightSpeed VCT making it
the fastest selling product in the company's history. GE was the first
company to introduce volumetric CT scanning, the ability to combine
record-breaking acquisition speed and high-resolution capabilities in a
single CT system.
"Developing the world's only volumetric, 64-slice PET/CT is a logical
extension of our success with the LightSpeed VCT," said Gene Saragnese vice
president and general manager of GE Healthcare's global Molecular Imaging
and CT business.
The LightSpeed VCT is able to noninvasively capture images of the heart
and coronary arteries in fewer than five heartbeats — something no other CT
system can offer. In a single rotation, the system creates 64
credit-card-thin images, totalling 40 millimetres of anatomical coverage.
These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient's
anatomy for the physician to analyze.
"The Discovery VCT, like the LightSpeed VCT, was built for physicians
based on their clinical needs, from the ground up," said Saragnese. "The
speed and resolution of the LightSpeed VCT combined with the functional
capabilities of PET will keep GE at the forefront of diagnostic
Industry leader in Cardiac PET/CT
GE says its flagship Discovery PET/CT system is the cardiac PET/CT market
leader. It provides anatomical and physiological information and improving
diagnostic confidence when assessing coronary artery disease and cardiac
viability. GE has invested more than $160 million in the research and
development of hybrid imaging technology and holds 25 related patents.
The company first began its work combining images with the development of
the GE Millennium VG Hawkeye SPECT/CT system in 1999, and launched the first
commercially available PET/CT, the Discovery LS, in 2001.