The press release informs about the latest powerful nuclear medical tool that has been developed by Siemens:
The Nuclear Medicine Clinic and the Radiological Institute at Erlangen University Hospital have begun using Europe’s first combined system for SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) and diagnostic Computed Tomography from Siemens Medical Solutions, the Symbia TruePoint SPECT-CT. Erlangen University Hospital is one of only two institutes worldwide to clinically implement this new SPECT-CT procedure. This opens new opportunities for physicians in detecting tumors and cardiac diseases: diagnosis with the new system is earlier, more precise, and more reliable. This in turn significantly improves the patient’s chance of being cured.
Symbia is the first to combine the functional sensitivity of a SPECT system with the detailed anatomical information provided by diagnostic multi-slice CT systems. SPECT, the nuclear medicine imaging procedure, enables organ function, cell metabolism, and other functional parameters in the human body to be displayed. Metabolic processes are displayed using different radioactive substances given to the patient in extremely small doses. As a result, pathological changes can be detected at the molecular level before changes in the anatomical structure at the submillimeter level are visible with CT. Due to the high specificity of the radioactive test substances used however, the detailed anatomical information that is also required is limited, and precise localization of the diagnostic findings is often difficult. Nuclear medicine examinations are function oriented, as opposed to structure-oriented procedures such as computed tomography. Combining nuclear medicine technology with a Spiral CT brings together the advantages of both procedures and significantly increases the diagnostic precision of SPECT. After the examination, the CT slice images are superimposed on the SPECT images, enabling the physician to detect the location of diseases in the body with submillimeter precision.
Siemens links: TruePoint Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography, Symbia systems…
Update: For those that were curious at the exact meaning of “tomography”, it is, according to dictionary.com:
n. Any of several techniques for making detailed x-rays of a plane section of a solid object, such as the body, while blurring out the images of other planes. Also called laminagraphy, planigraphy, planography, stratigraphy.