Healthcare Industry News:  cardiac imaging 

Devices Radiology

 News Release - November 27, 2006

GE Healthcare Launches Volume CT Scanner; Cardiac Imaging Technology Includes Outstanding Image Quality and Reduced Dose Exposure for Patients

GE's LightSpeed VCT XT Helps Clinicians Obtain Excellent Images of a Patient's Heart with up to a 70 Percent Reduction in Dose Per Exam Independent of Heart Rate

CHICAGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--GE Healthcare, a division of General Electric (NYSE:GE ) today introduced the industry's first-ever computed tomography (CT) scanner that maintains outstanding image quality while reducing a patient's radiation exposure by up to 70 percent for diagnostic cardiac scans. This technology was launched at the 92nd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.

The LightSpeed VCT XT builds on the foundation of GE's advanced CT platform, capable of capturing images of the heart and coronary arteries in as few as five heartbeats. LightSpeed VCT XT now includes hardware and enhanced applications that will allow users to add the clinical value of volume CT by providing new capabilities for imaging the heart, head, and other body parts.

"As leaders in CT, GE continues to focus on developing technologies that provide clinical excellence and outstanding image quality while reducing dose exposure for patients," said Gene Saragnese, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare's CT and Molecular Imaging business. "The LightSpeed VCT XT provides clarity, additional information and helps to generate confident physician diagnoses while reducing radiation exposure in diagnostic cardiac scans."

GE Healthcare and its clinical partners around the world have created new advanced procedure possibilities. Radiologists who have used the LightSpeed VCT XT advanced applications have found that these technical and clinical innovations have transformed how and when they use CT.

Synchronizing the heart rate

In standard cardiac CT exams, the X-ray is on for the duration of a scan, even during periods when a patient's heart is at an undesirable phase. With SnapShot Pulse(TM), an automated response to a patient's heart rate, ensures that the X-ray is only on for portions of a scan. This process, called prospective triggered gating, significantly reduces a patient's X-ray exposure time.

"I've been doing Cardiac CT for four years, and this is the most exciting development that I've used, having the ability to significantly reduce radiation dose," said Dr. James Earls of Fairfax Radiological Consultants, Fairfax, Va. "The patient benefit is huge - to be able to reduce the dose by up to 70 percent in some cases really changes the paradigm on how radiologists will approach patients who are presenting with different degrees of risk factors."

Not Missing a Beat

The LightSpeed VCT XT is the first multi-slice scanner capable of performing CT angiographic (CTA) studies where the table moves from one location to the next to cover the entire volume of the patient's heart, a mode of scanning called step-and-shoot. The LightSpeed VCT XT tracks a patient's heart rate real-time so the X-ray and acquisition time is driven by each individual patient, enabling clinicians to obtain high quality images with a very low dose exposure.

"Based on over 100 patients scanned with our new system, we were able to obtain high image quality for a wide range of patient sizes while the average radiation dose was about 5 mSv with a range of 1 to 9 mSv," said Dr. Jean-Louis Sablayrolles, Head of CT cardiac imaging Radiology at the Centre Cardiologique de Nord (CCN) in Saint-Denis, France.

Wide Coverage Perfusion

The LightSpeed VCT XT includes new axial and neuro shuttle modes, which holds great potential for future CT clinical applications. GE's VolumeShuttle(TM) addresses the need for wide coverage for both dynamic angiography and perfusion in a single scan to enable whole organ anatomical and physiological assessment. Volume Shuttle doubles the coverage width of the anatomy without increasing dose relative to a single axial acquisition with a single contrast injection.

"The LightSpeed VCT XT is powered by an innovative, real-time scan control architecture," said Saragnese. "SnapShot Pulse and VolumeShuttle highlight the potential of exciting advanced applications, which gives life to our vision of Radiology Re-imagined."


GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease, so their patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare's broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases, and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new "early health" model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, pre-symptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $15 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE ). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 43,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at

Source: GE Healthcare

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