Philips Healthcare reports highly successful sales of its BrightView XCT. Philips staff will be on hand at the BNMS meeting in Harrogate to discuss in detail the merits of the system. BrightView XCT is a hybrid SPECT/CT system with a small footprint that is surprisingly compact and easy to install. It will fit into a room as small as 4.72 x 366 m with minimal shielding and in most cases there is no need to reinforce flooring. It is also designed to be easily upgradeable to future configurations. Enthusiasm for the system has been expressed by diverse sites across the UK. Dr. John R. W. Hall Consultant Radiologist at Frimley Park Hospital says, “The images on the BrightView XCT are top quality and the CT fusion is the best I’ve seen. We have solved some golden cases with XCT and picked something up where everything else has failed.”
Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust serves the community in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire as well as catering for the more specialist requirements of its Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit. The nuclear medicine department performs over 4,000 diagnostic scans per year including oncology and orthopaedic work, as well as referrals for military personnel injured in the field or reporting with repetitive stress lesions. Dr. Hall continues, “With athletes and military personnel there can be a tendency to carry on training or playing when no cause has been identified. We have been able to make subtle finds; for instance, cortical stress fractures, stress-related musculoskeletal injuries and injuries previously thought to be neuropathic. The XCT is exquisitely good at stress-related injuries.”
Getting the job done quickly without compromising quality is essential for stretched NHS departments. Lead radiographer, Ann Fullbrook maximises use of the BrightView XCT by using the Philips advanced SPECT processing algorithm, Astonish. Ann says, “We use Astonish if we have a very unwell patient who cannot lie still for long. A whole body scan normally takes twenty minutes, but we can do it in ten minutes with Astonish if a patient is in a lot of pain. We then process the images with and without Astonish to enable comparison.”
Philips’ Astonish advanced reconstruction tool is designed to improve SPECT resolution, image contrast and signal-to-noise texture. Astonish software, developed by Philips, provides clinicians with powerful control of resolution recovery and an application-specific optimisation of noise suppression, creating the ability to manipulate resolution and noise that results in exceptional image quality. It features a patented dual-filtering technique to minimise noise and help to improve uniformity and it also allows for the use of an attenuation map to provide, in addition to resolution recovery, photon-specific scatter and attenuation corrects. Benefits include a reduction in isotopes injected into the patient without sacrificing diagnostic accuracy, as well as fewer generator outages resulting from the shortage of 99m-Tc.
The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust also purchased a BrightView XCT for the nuclear medicine department at New Cross Hospital. With requirement to get the job done quickly, but without compromising quality adds pressure to busy departments. The nuclear medicine team at New Cross decided to put BrightView XCT to the test and maximise its potential using Philips’ Astonish software. A research project using a cardiac phantom proved that myocardial perfusion study scan times could be reduced by fifty percent – reducing protocol from 30 seconds per view to 15 seconds per view for 3D cardiac imaging. Peter Turner, Chief Technologist in Nuclear Imaging comments “Clinicians have been amazed by the images they have been seeing. Astonish has allowed us to reduce scan time and increase patient throughput with no reduction in scan quality.”
It can be clinically difficult to do research using actual patients in nuclear medicine as approval from the ethics committee is needed. However, Peter Turner and his team realised that with the Philips BrightView XCT system they could utilise its concurrent imaging function to prove their research. Peter continued “It meant we could explore different acquisitions of patient data with no effect on the patient whatsoever. They didn’t even know it was happening. We just took the 15 seconds per view image at the same time as the standard 30 seconds per view.
The increased throughput attained with BrightView XCT has meant an increase in referrals has not automatically led to longer waiting times. Peter concludes “We now have clinicians referring patients and specifically requesting SPECT/CT, not just a nuclear medicine scan or bone scan. They have seen the images and they like what we’re doing. With the hybrid imaging capabilities of the XCT, we don’t need to do an additional CT or MRI. This is the future of nuclear medicine.”