Medical imaging

Technological advances in medical imaging aim to increase patient throughput and decrease patient exposure to radiation whilst maintaining or improving image resolution. Southern Innovation’s SITORO® digital pulse processing technology significantly improves the efficacy of medical imaging techniques; enabling:

  • improved speed;
  • higher sensitivity and
  • improved image accuracy.

The field of medical imaging has evolved rapidly since the discovery of X-ray radiation by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1895 and gamma rays by Paul Villard in 1900. Medical imaging technologies provide an incomparable opportunity to understand, detect, prevent and treat a wide variety of human diseases. The early detection, prevention and treatment of diseases using modern medical imaging techniques have contributed to longer, healthier life expectancy.

Advanced medical imaging technologies include positron electron tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), gamma cameras and of course, X-rays. These technologies all use either gamma or X-ray radiation; this radiation needs to be detected, captured and interpreted effectively and efficiently to produce the required imagery accurately and as fast as possible.

The highest quality medical images are achieved by collecting the greatest number of counts. The ultimate challenge is to acquire more counts in less time. Southern Innovation’s SITORO technology offers superior count-rate performance, improving both speed and image quality.

PET

PET provides analysis and images of a human body’s functional biology, for example neurotransmitter pathways in the brain, and heart function. PET is acknowledged as the most effective technology for identifying and monitoring the presence and spread of cancer, even very small cancers that are undetectable using alternate technology. Images obtained using PET are derived from the pathways travelled by low-dosage, radio-labelled molecules.

Key technology drivers in the development of PET include: reducing the time required to conduct a full-body scan of a patient; and increasing the resolution image which translates to improved image resolution with lower radioisotope dosage.

Benefits of SITORO to PET imaging applications

Gamma-ray detectors in PET scanners detect radiation emitted from within the patient. SITORO offers superior count-rate performance facilitating accelerated patient scanning by improving detector efficiency and PET image quality. Increased detector efficiency improves PET machines’ “signal-to-noise ratio”, significantly enhancing the ability to detect cancer (resolution).

Gamma cameras & SPECT imaging

SPECT imaging provides a cheaper alternative to PET. Its use for diagnosis is significant; the major applications of gamma camera (SPECT and planar) imaging include the diagnosis and evaluation of ischemic heart disease; evaluation and diagnosis of fractures, sports injuries, arthritis and cancer metastases to bone; evaluation of renal function in kidney disease and of transplanted kidneys; diagnosis of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer and diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.

Benefits of SITORO to gamma camera and SPECT imaging applications

In the same way as it is applicable to PET imaging, SITORO improves detector efficiency and therefore image quality in gamma camera and SPECT imaging applications.