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Getting ahead of cancer: SPECT/Spiral CT technology enhances bone scanning, earlier diagnosis

SAN DIEGO, Calif.--New imaging technology--the use of single photon emission tomography (SPECT) with spiral computed tomography (CT) scanners--creates high quality images that enhance detection of cancer in patients, according to results presented at SNM's 53rd Annual Meeting June 37 in San Diego.

"The specificity of bone scintigraphy--or bone scanning--is enhanced by combining SPECT with spiral CT," explained Wolfgang Rmer, assistant professor and vice chair of the Clinic of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Erlangen/Nuremberg in Germany. "Because of this technology, the diagnostic process is shortened, reducing stress considerably for individuals waiting for a definite diagnosis," added the co-author of "Diagnostic Value of Tc-99m-DPD-SPECT/Spiral-CT Hybrid Imaging in Unclear Foci of Increased Bone Metabolism in Cancer Patients."

Rmer said, "With SPECT/CT, the morphologic correlate (form and structure) can be visualized to further clarify findings on bone scintigraphy. We call our procedure 'SPECT-guided CT.' " He further explained, "From our study, we conclude that SPECT-guided CT is able to clarify more than 90 percent of findings that were classified as indeterminate in the analysis of SPECT alone. That could mean that in daily clinical practice, additional radiological examinations can be avoided in 90 percent of patients with indeterminate findings in bone scintigraphy." The German researchers also significantly reduced the CT radiation exposure, according to the study that Rmer calls the first report on the benefit of SPECT/spiral CT in bone scintigraphy.

The combination of SPECT and CT was introduced about five years ago but provided nondiagnostic quality CT images, said Rmer. "The recently introduced combination of SPECT and spiral CT scanners enables combined SPECT/CT images, which are diagnostic," he detailed. "With bone scintigraphy alone, it is not possible to differentiate bone metastases (spread) from benign processes
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-708-9000
Society of Nuclear Medicine
5-Jun-2006


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