Industry news, including Single-photon CT from Toshiba, Image fusion from ADAC, DICOM based laser digitizer from Array and more.
Toshiba highlights gamma camera workstation
Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, CA) showcased their
e.soft workstation software for the T.Cam gamma camera systems at
the Society of Nuclear Medicine's (SNM) 48th Annual Meeting in
Engineered through a joint-development agreement with Siemens
Medical Systems' Nuclear Medicine Group (Hoffman Estates, IL), the
workstation enhancements feature macro-like tools that enable a
user to perform multistep procedures with a single-button click on
A quantitative gated single-photon emission computed tomography
(SPECT) package that provides automatic quantification, analysis,
and display of static and gated short-axis myocardial perfusion
SPECT has also been added. It also features two- (2D) and
three-dimensional (3D) displays with interactive cine controls and
full left ventricular volumetric analysis. A quantitative perfusion
SPECT offering enables e.soft to automatically segment, quantify,
analyze, and display static (nongated) short-axis myocardial
perfusion SPECT images. The application also lets the user perform
normal file comparison with stress, rest, reversibility, polar
maps, and defect analysis.
The product also offers automatic calculation of both right and
left ventricular volumes and ejection fractions, and displays the
results in an interactive 3D model.
A 4DMSPECT application, developed at the University of Michigan
in Ann Arbor, completes the myocardial analysis package and can
provide comparisons with both gated and nongated stress-rest
parameters to normal data. The program features automatic left
ventricular segmentation, 2D and 3D (gated) polar map display, and
left ventricular volumetric analysis.
All versions of the e.soft application are DICOM 3.0-compatible
and can be integrated with an institution's radiology information
system or hospital information system.
ADAC showcases new products
ADAC (Milpitas, CA) highlighted several new products at the
recent SNM meeting, including a hybrid computed tomography (CT)/
positron emission tomography (PET) system, a new gamma camera, and
Gemini, a work in progress, is a hybrid CT/PET system that
integrates ADAC's PET technology with a Philips Medical System
single-slice spiral CT scanner. Gemini is designed to fuse
functional and anatomic images for surgical and radiation therapy
treatment planning in oncology.
ADAC has also introduced the Skylight gamma camera. Skylight has
a gantry-free design that mounts directly to the room structure,
eliminating restrictions associated with floor-mounted gantry-based
systems, allowing for greater patient access and more flexible
A third new product introduced was Allegro, a gadolinium
oxyorthosilicate (GSO)-based dedicated PET camera. According to the
manufacturer, Allegro will offer higher performance and greater
patient throughput than their current PET offering. By combining
advanced electronics, sophisticated positioning algorithms, and a
new scintillator, ADAC says that Allegro is suitable for research
applications as well as the high throughput and clinical demands of
a busy radiology department.
SPECT predicts future cardiac events
Researchers at the SNM meeting reported that studying gated
perfusion with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)
was effective in identifying those patients at risk for future
cardiac events and for determining post-event survival.
Dr. Xingping Kang and colleagues at Cedars Sinai Medical Center,
Los Angeles, CA, conducted thallium-201 stress and
technetium-99m-sestamibi gated perfusion SPECT imaging on 3,744
subjects with no history of heart disease and 1496 patients who had
a previous heart attack or other documented heart disease.
They found that an ejection fraction <45% was a strong
predictor of future cardiac events in both groups of patients.
However, perfusion data, rather than ejection fraction, was the
stronger predictor of survival for patients with no history of
coronary artery disease.
"This technique produces better quality images that provide the
clinician with more information on the entire ventricular volume,
an important factor in determining prognosis," said Dr. Kang.
Alare Systems becomes Array Corporation USA
Alare Systems Corp. of Sparta, NJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Array Corp. of Tokyo, has changed its name to Array Corporation
USA. "When we formed this business in the United States in 1998,"
said company President Thomas Nardozzi in an exclusive interview
with Applied Radiology, "we attempted to use the same name as our
parent, but the name was not available. It had always been our
intent to do this when we could overcome whatever legal obstacles
"What the name change does for us," he said, "is align us on a
worldwide basis not only with our parent, but with our worldwide
subsidiaries." These include operations based in Europe and the Far
Although Array Corp.'s history has been to design and
manufacture equipment for other companies, Array Corp. USA now
hopes to build recognition of their own brand name. Their marquee
product is the 2905 Laser Film Digitizer, a DICOM-based device
designed to scan existing radiographs for conversion to a digital
"We make not only the scan device, but the software application
to control it as well," said Nardozzi, "and we are continuing to
develop this product so that it can address more needs for the
end-user client than just scanning film to digital."
This digitizer can scan a 2K resolution image in 7 seconds.
However, said Nardozzi, "It does a great many other things as well.
We can scan and then do a DICOM store and store the secondary
capture. In addition, there are many different features that exist
within the software to control the scanner that allow for a very
broad range of use," he continued. "A good example of that would be
that we have clients who want to scan radiographs simply for the
purpose of reviewing images. They don't necessarily have the high
diagnostic need of someone who wants to do interpretation. At the
same time, the scanner is flexible in its configuration so that
such interpretation could be accomplished by varying the micron
size or pixel spacing."
It can also be used to take a multi-formated film to the
software and break the images into individual DICOM images. "This
becomes significant to radiologists when they have to compare
studies that are performed today, such as an MR, to the relevant
prior study," said Nardozzi. "If that only relevant prior study
exists as film, that film can be scanned through our digitizer with
our software and become individual image sets." Once the images are
converted, they can then be viewed in stack mode.
The company has also begun to develop an interface to allow for
printing. "This way the device has far more utility and application
than just being a one-purpose device," said Nardozzi.
The company also manufactures DICOM Pro, a series of products
that are gateways that allow non-DICOM devices access to the DICOM
world. "These are actually pretty popular devices, not just ours,
but from the perspective of the entire radiology industry," noted
Nardozzi. "When users have to confront how to get MRI or ultrasound
equipment on to a DICOM network, they don't have a lot of
cost-effective choices. Once choice is total replacement of the
equipment, which can be very expensive. Second is possibly
upgrading if the OEM supports the equipment and, specifically, the
generation; and that can be fairly costly. These devices in
general, which are primarily PC-based, are the least expensive
alternative for users."
"We like to think that we are all about excellence," concluded
Nardozzi. "The reputation of our parent is outstanding, and we hope
to earn that same right here in this country. It's really all about
Hologic founder and CEO S. David Ellenbogen dies
S. David Ellenbogen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Hologic Inc. (Bedford, MA) passed away unexpectedly June 21 as a
consequence of heart failure.
"We have all suffered a great loss with the passing of Dave
Ellenbogen," said Jay A. Stein, cofounder, partner, and long-time
friend. "Dave was a well-known, well-respected veteran of the
medical device industry. He was a true visionary who knew every
aspect of the industry. Perhaps Dave's strongest asset was his
ability to motivate those around him to new levels of greatness.
Dave took great pride in the companies he helped to create.
However, he felt his greatest achievement was his family. Our
deepest sympathies go out to his wife Elaine, his children, Sandy
and Michael, and their families. His strong leadership qualities,
his creativity, his entrepreneurial spirit, and great sense of
humor will be deeply missed."
Stein, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, has
been appointed Chairman and has agreed to serve as interim Chief
Executive Officer while a search to fill the position on a
permanent basis is conducted.