Spectral Imaging: Next Big thing in Diagnostics

New dual-energy spectral imaging technology represents a new standard of visualization that helps address two main computed tomography (CT) clinical imaging challenges: material separation and artifact reduction.

GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) presented the increased clinical adoption and emergence as a “must have” tool of its Gemstone spectral imaging (GSI) computed tomography (CT) application at the 2011 International Symposium on Multidetector Row CT, held in San Francisco, CA, USA, in June 2011.

GE Healthcare’s second release of GSI technology now includes refinements in image quality and usability. This second release is being provided to all current GE Discovery CT750 HD systems with GSI worldwide to help clinicians make well-informed, patient-focused decisions.

“Spectral CT is now a part of our routine clinical practice, particularly for cases with known metal implants,” said Lawrence Tanenbaum, MD, FACR, director of MRI and CT at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, NY, USA). “Healthcare professionals in general, radiologists in particular, and patients, most importantly, benefit as spectral imaging’s enhanced and enriched information continues to become adopted around the world.”

GSI helps clinicians make efficient, effective diagnoses by more distinctly characterizing lesion attributes, removing or reducing artifacts, and enhancing areas of medical interest–all in one exam.

Specifically, GSI aids clinicians in determining the precise size and nature of lesions, and whether they are enhancing. In a first place paper recently awarded by the Society of Uroradiology, Dr. Amy Hara and others from the Mayo Clinic (Scottsdale, AZ) demonstrated improved renal lesion enhancement using GSI, concluding that it contributes to diagnostic accuracy and confidence when evaluating renal lesion enhancement compared to using routine CT or monochromatic images alone.

Since CT’s inception, clinicians’ view of anatomy has been limited by potential artifacts and the inability to differentiate between different materials of the same density. For example, metal implants frequently generate artifacts while materials like iodine and calcium are difficult to differentiate. Utilizing two different energy levels to separate and quantify materials like calcium, iodine, and water, GSI-enhanced images provide considerable artifact reduction and improved clarity to help healthcare professionals overcome these challenges.

“GSI is pioneering a new generation of dual energy CT imaging,” said Steve Gray, vice president and general manager of CT & Advantage workstation for GE Healthcare. “By helping clinicians increase their diagnostic confidence and accuracy through GSI, we’re helping them better serve their patients’ needs.”

GSI was developed in conjunction with leading institutions including Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA, USA) Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, and Keio University (Tokyo, Japan).

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