Patients to benefit from novel technology revolutionizing high-speed molecular imaging

D-SPECT camera enables shorter image acquisition times, provides better image quality, opens door to diagnostic procedures with multi-isotopes; Details released at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--The new technologically advanced D-SPECT camera enables shorter image acquisition times, provides better image quality and opens the door to new diagnostic procedures using simultaneous multi-isotope imaging--providing the potential to revolutionize functional imaging, according to results released at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 in San Diego.

"The potential of using more than one tracer and more than one isotope simultaneously means that more than one medical condition can be searched in one go--ultimately improving the diagnosis of cancer, heart and brain diseases," explained James A. Patton, professor of radiology and physics with the department of radiology and radiological sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. "In addition, as the speed of this new D-SPECT camera approaches the imaging speed of computed tomography (CT), it will become economical to have functional and anatomic imaging in line (as a hybrid image) and in near real time for developing combined single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) and CT images," added the co-author of "D-SPECT: A New Solid State Camera for High-Speed Molecular Imaging."

"Patient health considerations and radiation safety standards limit the radiation dose that can be administered for the purpose of diagnostic imaging," said Patton. "In addition to this limitation, the low efficiency of existing SPECT imaging technology in collecting radiation imposes very long acquisition times of up to a full hour and sometimes more," he added. "This new camera technology enables acquisition times that are shorter by an order of magnitude (2 minutes vs. today's 20 minutes for a cardiac scan), better image quality (up to two times the image resolution) and the potential for new diagnostic procedures employing simultaneous multi-isotope imaging for more versatile diagnostics," he explained. "Due to its very high sensitivity (10 times higher) and definition (up to 2 times the resolution) and novel scanning design--together with usage of high-energy discrimination of the solid state detectors--this new technology can open the way to personalized diagnostics taking into account patient-specific physical information," noted Patton.

"For 50 years, physicists have been struggling with the inherent trade-off between spatial resolution and sensitivity associated with radionuclide imaging," said Patton. "D-SPECT collects photons with much higher efficiency (order of magnitude) due to usage of a split–scanning detector design capable of dwelling more on the organ of interest. This, together with radiation collection angles larger than in existing technology, constitutes a radical departure from the conventional Anger camera," he detailed. Besides providing improved statistics leading to better image quality and the potential for better and earlier diagnosis of diseases, the D-SPECT camera reduces the time a patient spends on imaging equipment, said Patton. Patients receive a lower radiation dose, and personalized scanning takes into account unique patient physiology and anatomy, he added. "Simultaneous imaging of a combination of radiopharmaceuticals can be used to define a specific disease signature leading to noninvasive biopsy," he detailed. The D-SPECT camera will provide "a potential breakthrough in organ-specific (heart) SPECT imaging," said George Zubal, SNM's Scientific Program Committee instrumentation and data analysis vice chair and associate professor of diagnostic radiology and technical director of nuclear medicine at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Researchers from Spectrum Dynamics, Haifa, Israel; Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; and New York Presbyterian Hospital–Weill Cornell Campus, New York, N.Y., will now focus on specific clinical applications for the D-SPECT camera. "The first such application will be in cardiac perfusion (blood flow to the heart), and a multicenter study is planned for the second half of this year," said Patton. Vanderbilt University Medical Center will be among the first four sites to experiment with the imaging camera, said Patton, who indicated that the imaging device is investigational, with Food and Drug Administration submission expected over next few months.

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Abstract: D. Dickman, M. Nagler and S. Ben Haim, all with Spectrum Dynamics, Haifa, Israel; J. Patton, department of radiology and radiological sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; M. Sandler, department of radiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; D. Berman, department of nuclear medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.; S. Gambhir, departments of radiology and bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; and S. Vallabhajosula, radiology, the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Campus , New York, N.Y., "D-SPECT:A New Solid State Camera for High Speed Molecular Imaging," SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting, June 3–7, 2006, Scientific Paper 542.

About SNM

SNM is holding its 53rd Annual Meeting June 3–7 at the San Diego Convention Center. Research topics for the 2006 meeting include molecular imaging in clinical practice in the fight against cancer; the role of diagnostic imaging in the management of metastatic bone disease; metabolic imaging for heart disease; neuroendocrine and brain imaging; new agents for imaging infection and inflammation; and an examination of dementia, neurodegeneration, movement disorders and thyroid cancer.

SNM is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology and practical applications of molecular and nuclear imaging to diagnose, manage and treat diseases in women, men and children. Founded more than 50 years ago, SNM continues to provide essential resources for health care practitioners and patients; publish the most prominent peer-reviewed resource in the field; sponsor research grants, fellowships and awards; host the premier annual meeting for medical imaging; and train physicians, technologists, scientists, physicists, chemists and radiopharmacists in state-of-the-art imaging procedures and advances. SNM members have introduced--and continue to explore--biological and technological innovations in medicine that noninvasively investigate the molecular basis of diseases, benefiting countless generations of patients. SNM is based in Reston, Va.; additional information can be found online at http://www.snm.org.


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