Diagnostic imaging  

Particle time tracking gives breakthrough PET/CT image quality for Philips

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."

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