December 16, 2013 — GE Healthcare announced its exclusive clinical application for its fixed radiographic system, VolumeRAD, at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (RSNA 2013). VolumeRAD offers improved detection and management of patients with lung nodules compared to conventional X-ray imaging of the chest. As the first thoracic radiographic tomosynthesis product with a specific indication, this application aims to improve the detection of lung nodules and the subsequent management of patients.
The VolumeRAD X-ray application provides physicians with multiple high-resolution slice images of the anatomy of interest, including the chest, abdomen, extremities and spine. This clinical feature is a method of acquiring a series of low-dose projection images during a single sweep of the X-ray tube over a limited angle.
“We are very excited by these results that clearly show the benefit of radiographic tomosynthesis versus conventional X-ray,” said Michelle Edler, general manager, radiology and fluoroscopy, detection and guidance solutions, GE. “Customers who use this technology will be able to detect more, and will benefit 360 percent greater sensitivity without any reduction in specificity, for lung nodules 3 mm – 20 mm in diameter.”
Gautham Reddy, M.D., professor of radiology, vice chair for education and director of thoracic imaging, Department of Radiology, University of Washington, believes VolumeRAD can offer an intermediate solution for patient care.
“Rather than simply getting a CT, we can do a VolumeRAD to verify whether it’s a nodule or not,” said Reddy. “[For] something that has low likelihood of being a nodule, VolumeRAD will probably exclude the possibility of a nodule and there won’t be as much radiation. That is one of the reasons why VolumeRAD would be helpful. We could get more information than with a [radiograph and] without as much radiation as a CT.”
VolumeRAD generates diagnostic chest images that enable radiologists to detect small lung nodules with superior sensitivity versus posterior-anterior (PA) and left lateral views of the chest at minimal relative radiation level (< 0.1 mSv). This clinical feature is a method of acquiring a series of low-dose projection images during a single sweep of the X-ray tube over a limited angle. As many as 60 images can be acquired in approximately 10 seconds. This data is then used to generate images at the desired slice interval defined by the user, a huge dose and patient throughput benefit compared to linear tomography, which provides only one image from a similar tube sweep. Using computed tomography (CT)-like algorithms, high-resolution thin slices are reconstructed and can be reviewed by the radiologist at a computer workstation as individual images or in a cine mode.
No clinical evidence has been established supporting the claims in patients with active lung or pleural disease that could obscure pulmonary nodules, including fibrosis, emphysema, compressed lung, scarring, severe lung disease and in patients with objects in or around the lungs that could obscure pulmonary nodules. The effectiveness of the device may vary depending on nodule prevalence and type.