Particle time tracking gives breakthrough PET/CT image quality for
6 March 2006
Vienna, Austria. Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) unveiled
a breakthrough positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT)
system at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) meeting in Vienna,
Austria. The GEMINI TF is the first PET system to use atomic particle
time-measurements to deliver increased image quality and consistency.
The technology has previously been demonstrated in a research
environment, but the GEMINI TF is the world's first commercially available
time-of-flight PET/CT system in which gamma rays are more accurately tracked
using minute time measurements. Raising effective image sensitivity by more
than two times over conventional PET, the GEMINI TF delivers benefits for
both patients and clinicians. Image acquisition is shortened to less than 10
minutes for a whole-body PET scan, even for larger patients, who had
previously needed additional scan time. Consistent with all GEMINI PET/CT
systems, GEMINI TF also features Philips patented OpenView gantry design,
allowing for increased patient comfort.
In a conventional PET system, a decaying radioactive agent is injected
into the patient. As each nucleus decays, it releases a positron which
immediately collides with an electron, releasing two gamma rays that travel
away from the collision zone at 180 degrees from each other. It is these
pairs of gamma rays that are observed by the PET scanner, which uses this
information to calculate where the agent is concentrated, thus creating an
image of the affected area. Although the gamma rays in each pair arrive at
slightly different times depending on their origination, this is not
traditionally measured. With time-of-flight, this time difference can be
measured, enabling the point of origination to be more accurately predicted
and leading to much more accurate imaging.
"This addition to our broad portfolio demonstrates our technology
leadership, and our ability to translate that expertise into clinical
solutions which integrate seamlessly into the patient care cycle," said
Peter Cempellin, General Manager of Philips Medical Systems PET/CT Division.
"GEMINI TF is a step-change for PET, delivering greatly improved performance
and with it the possibility of earlier detection of disease and earlier
treatment for patients in the future."