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Digirad imaging system seeks to solve image distortion headcaches

Digirad : 08 September, 2008  (Company News)
An initial clinical trial of a new Digirad imaging system incorporates new proprietary technology to correct attenuation, or image distortion, an inherent issue in cardiac SPECT imaging.
Cardiac SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) - also called myocardial perfusion imaging - is a non-invasive test to assess the heart's structure and function. Small amounts of radioactive substances are injected into the patient's vein, and special cameras produce images of the heart. These SPECT images are used to identify blockages in coronary arteries, determine whether a patient has had a heart attack, evaluate risk of a heart attack, and assess a patient's condition after bypass surgery or angioplasty.

According to senior vice president of technology, Richard Conwell, attenuation is the most significant issue in cardiac SPECT. There are alternative solutions that attempt to address this problem, but they involve tradeoffs, such as ‘noisy’ images, truncated scans, lengthy procedures with risk of excess movement by patients, or higher levels of radiation dosage.

Chief executive officer Mark Casner commented: 'Research and development was based on our Cardius 3 triple-head SPECT camera, and feedback from initial clinical trials at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is promising, compared to other SPECT systems at competitive price points. We are seeing improvement in imaging clarity and accuracy, more rapid imaging, and a significant reduction in radiation dosage. In addition, we may be able to eliminate the need for isotope replacement resulting in lower operational costs.'

Casner said that the new system, Cardius X-ACT, will be exhibited at the 2008 Annual Scientific Session of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) to be held on September 10 to14, 2008, at the John B Hynes Convention Center in Boston, USA.

In addition to the initial study at UCLA, Casner said that two other clinical studies are planned. The new Cardius X-ACT system is expected to be available for sale sometime in mid-2009 pending required regulatory approvals.

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