Site Spotlight

Dr. Zuoxiang He

Fuwai Hospital, Beijing, China

Founded in 1956, Fuwai Hospital is a national first-class hospital specializing in cardiovascular diseases. It is also known as the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, and the National Clinical Research Center of Cardiovascular Diseases.

Our Nuclear Medicine Department installed D-SPECT at the end of 2015. We benefit greatly from its superior sensitivity and high resolution, with improved myocardial perfusion images. The open design helps claustrophobic patients and provides great patient experience. The upright and supine imaging positions are very useful in differentiating attenuation artifacts; this also reduces patient dose. We truly appreciate Spectrum Dynamics for such a brilliant product. We have had very good experiences with the services from Spectrum Dynamics —there is every reason to recommend D-SPECT!

Dr. Hongcheng Shi

Zhongshan Hospital Fudan University

Zhongshan Hospital is a comprehensive teaching hospital affiliated with Fudan University, handling more than 3,800,000 walk-in patients and emergency visits, 130,000 outpatients and 84,000 inpatients in 2016.

The Cardiology Department of Zhongshan Hospital is regarded as the most established and respected among general hospitals in China. We perform approximately 4,000 coronary intervention procedures every year with a success rate of above 98%. We installed the latest generation of D-SPECT cardiac imaging system in early 2017 to meet the increasing needs and demands of cardiologists.

Based on our experience with A-SPECT over the years, D-SPECT is indeed a breakthrough innovation with a great deal of improvement in many aspects including efficiency, accuracy, patient safety.

Image quality from A-SPECT is compromised due to limitation of technology. D-SPECT on the other hand, is definitely a state-of-the-art system that has successfully overcome the challenge of sensitivity and efficiency — it enables scan time reduction from 15 minutes (for A-SPECT) to 2 minutes.

Data collection of D-SPECT is not only efficient, but also precise; it serves as a very objective and accurate data for analysis. This helps us to overcome the challenge in false-positive findings in obese patients. The position of the heart in obese patients move significantly and this may lead to artifacts. D-SPECT utilizes BroadView technology for high speed data acquisition and an optimized algorithm for image reconstruction. The result provides a tremendous improvement in image quality (compared to A-SPECT), solving the clinical challenges for obese patients.

Last but not least, apart from myocardial perfusion imaging, D-SPECT enables us to perform coronary flow reserve (CFR) procedures. We conclude that this is a next generation of functional imaging that is irreplaceable by other imaging methods.

Dr. Nicolas Fourquet

Clinique Pasteur (CIMOF) - Toulouse

Clinique Pasteur is an internationally renowned institution in the field of cardiology and the first French private hospital in the cardiology field with 462 beds and 170 MD’s.

The D-SPECT camera is installed in our institution since 2010. Thanks to the better sensitivity, improved image resolution and patient comfort provided by semi-upright position, our activity has increased from 4000 patients/year (with 2 cameras) to 6000 patients/year with only one D-SPECT camera and with a more accurate diagnostics.

The D-SPECT has increased the perfusion diagnostic quality of myocardial scintigraphy together with a functional study whose relevance proves to be an excellent prognostic marker for difficult patients, without sacrificing the comfort during the examination of these patients.

Dr. Bertrand Merino

Clinique Saint-Augustin

CIF, Centre d’Imagerie Fonctionnelle, is a nuclear medicine department open since 2012, located at Saint-Augustin clinic, and where are performed scintigraphies.

The philosophy of our center is to respond as fast as possible to the demands of the cardiologists. The CZT technique made it possible to meet these demands with a shorter time of acquisition and excellent quality which is very important to meet the cardiologists needs and increase the number of patients scanned. With obese patients, we were able to carry out examinations under optimal conditions for the comfort of the patients as well as for the quality of the examination.

Our vendor selection was oriented by the small footprint of D-SPECT camera which was mandatory taking in account the restricted space available. In addition, the innovative armchair concept can be very important for better patient’s comfort.

The reliability of this product meets our expectations perfectly. To prove that, we have acquired a second machine.

Eric V. Beck, Team Lead - Nuclear Medicine

OhioHealth Heart & Vascular Physicians

Our practice has a 25 year history of providing high quality nuclear cardiology services in Richland County.  In 2015, we committed to making radiation dose reduction an equally high of priority as image quality.  Our multifaceted approach to radiation dose reduction included Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC), Body Mass Index (BMI) based dosing, and implementing a Selective Stress-Only imaging protocol.  We knew that count recovery software would not be enough to allow us to sufficiently lower radiation dose while still being able to meet the productivity demands of our department.  After months of camera evaluations and site visits, it became clear that the D-SPECT was going to be the key for us to meet our objectives.  In clinical practice, the D-SPECT has been paramount to enabling us to achieve our goal of acquiring the highest quality diagnostic images while simultaneously reducing radiation dose.

Our interpreting physicians have found the upright and supine imaging to be very beneficial in differentiating attenuation artifacts from true defects. Other manufacturers required CT attenuation correction or recommended prone imaging to minimize attenuation artifacts.  SPECT/CT for attenuation correction is very expensive and adds radiation dose to the patient.  Prone imaging is cumbersome and uncomfortable for most patients.  Our patients rave about the comfort of the D-SPECT.  The 542 pound weight limit also allows us to image very obese patients that we would have otherwise had to turn away if we were using any other system.  Our practice also utilizes the D-SPECT’s unique ability to perform dynamic SPECT to assess Coronary Flow Reserve (CFR).

The D-SPECT is a remarkable system that has exceeded our very high expectations.

Tricia Peters, Director of Nuclear Medicine

Cancer Center of Santa Barbara

We’ve had our system for 10 years. It has truly revolutionized our patient experience. It is a very comfortable chair and with the short imaging time the patients love it! The independent cardiologists send us their patients rather than to the competitors in town because our image quality is exceptional with the D-SPECT® system. From a technical standpoint, once you get past the learning curve, it is a very easy system to use. The patient set up time is quick and simple and the processing time is quick too.

We love our D-SPECT so much, we traded it in this year on a brand new one with Dynamic SPECT capability.

Dave Osborn, Dr. Jerald Young

Cardiovascular Center of Marin

D-SPECT turned 8 years old!

“The D-SPECT camera has been a rock, a pillar of strength,” said Dave Osborn, Supervisor of Nuclear Cardiology at Cardiovascular Center of Marin. We’re still really happy with it. Even after 8 years (our anniversary is this month) it is still hands-down the best camera I’ve ever worked with. It’s been like the Energizer Bunny. It’s hard to justify getting a new camera when the current D-SPECT continues to perform so well even after all these years.”

Cardiovascular Center of Marin delivers world-class care. Our fellowship-trained cardiologists are leaders in their fields and trained at some of the finest medical schools in the country. Our affiliation with Marin General Hospital provides access to the latest technologies and equipment, enabling our experts to perform a variety of innovative procedures. Services include education, prevention, state-of-the-art diagnostic services, advanced treatments and rehabilitation.

Marko Yakovlevitch, M.D.

Top Doc in Cardiovascular Disease, Summit Cardiology

You list preventive cardiology as an area of expertise. What does this mean? 
Preventive cardiology is simply decreasing a person’s likelihood of having an adverse cardiac event such as a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest. However, like many things having to do with people and human biology, this is more complicated than it seems.

Read Full Story

David Reisman, Director

Franciscan Health-Lafayette - Lafayette, Indiana

Our D-SPECT gamma camera has globally improved our nuclear stress testing performed here at Franciscan Health Lafayette. Our Cardiologists prefer that we solely utilize the D-SPECT for cardiac imaging because the “image quality is far superior” over our other conventional dual head gamma camera systems. The 9 detector D-SPECT has reduced imaging time by at least 50%, allowing for the throughput of two conventional dual head systems in one small footprint. Patients appreciate the comfortable imaging chair design, and the fact that they are now not required to raise their arms fully above their head for imaging, rather arms are now resting on the detector head at shoulder height. The D-SPECT imaging chair configuration is also less claustrophobic for patients compared to conventional gamma camera set-up. The D-SPECT 542lb weight limit has also allowed us to accommodate some larger patients that we otherwise would not have been able to scan and produce diagnostic images for review.  I would recommend the D-SPECT cardiac camera to my colleagues with-out hesitation.

Mark Palazzolo, Executive Director

Marian Medical Services, LLC - Honolulu, HI

We have been using the D-Spect camera for a little over a year now at a very busy nuclear cardiology lab. Most importantly, it allows us to provide our patients the highest quality care through unsurpassed diagnostic capabilities. However, there are so many other features that have allowed us to improve our service. The patients love the recliner design of the chair, as well as, the scan times that have decreased from 18 minutes per scan down to 4. From a business stand point, we are able to process more patients each day in less time, while not just maintaining the same quality…but improving it beyond our expectations! I would recommend the D-Spect camera to anyone considering opening a lab or upgrading outdated equipment.

Naoya Matsumoto MD, PhD, Professor of Cardiology

Nihon University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Nihon University Hospital, Department of Cardiology - Tokyo, Japan

Optimal patient imaging includes shorter acquisition time, short waiting period, improved comfort and patient compliance, lower radiation exposure, lower medical cost and higher diagnostic performance. We believe that most of those improvements are accomplished with the D-SPECT.

At Nihon University, we developed a new protocol with the D-SPECT: simultaneous dual-isotope imaging (SDI) for MPI which was based on a protocol developed by Dr. Berman’s group at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. They performed a sequential acquisition dual-isotope imaging using 201Tl and 99mTc-sestamibi in the past. Our earlier study showed that D-SPECT had 5.03- and 6.31-fold higher photon counts・s–1・MBq–1 for the 99mTc and 201Tl sources than A-SPECT, respectively. Therefore, we thought that higher sensitivity of semiconductor detectors should contribute to reduce radiation exposure. Interestingly, sensitivity of semiconductor detectors is excellent with 201Tl. 201Tl imaging would be ideal to visualize myocardial blood flow in the area of hyperemic condition with its higher extraction fraction (85%). Moreover, 201Tl may be slightly more effective in identifying mild coronary stenosis. 99mTc-labelled tracers such as Sestamibi and Tetrofosmin have a little bit lower extraction fraction (54–62%), potentially causing a mild myocardial perfusion defect that could be missed. We also took into account higher energy-spectrum resolution of semiconductor detectors, which allowed a simultaneous acquisition of dual-isotope imaging.

From March 2015, we started this new SDI protocol; a simultaneous acquisition rest 99mTc-tetrofosmin/stress 201Tl and documented its clinical feasibility. Ninety-four patients were enrolled. Patients were injected with 99mTc-tetrofosmin 6.91 mCi (296 MBq) for rest imaging, followed by 201Tl 2 mCi (74 MBq) injection during a 6 min of adenosine stress test. Immediately after the stress test, the patients underwent the electrocardiogram-gated simultaneous acquisition rest (99mTc-tetrofosmin) and stress (201Tl) MPI. Coronary angiography to detect ≥ 75% stenosis was performed in all subjects within 3 months of SPECT imaging. AUC was 0.908 on a per patient basis; and with regard to the coronary arteries, it was 0.848 in the left anterior descending artery; 0.835 in the left circumflex artery; and 0.813 in the right coronary artery. Usually total examination time is less than 30 minutes. Moreover, sensitivity to detect significant coronary stenosis in 36 patients with multi-vessel disease was 97%. We clearly showed the diagnostic performance of D-SPECT with SDI protocol and its clinical feasibility.

Indu Poornima, MD, Medical Director, Nuclear Cardiology

Allegheny General Hospital - Pittsburgh, PA

In our experience, the D-SPECT® camera is revolutionary for the field of nuclear cardiology since it reduces the number of false-positive studies and increases the confidence of the reader. The short imaging times and the comfortable imaging position are an added bonus for the patients, especially those with claustrophobia and difficulty lying flat on the table.

Yasuhiro Suzuki, MD, Deputy Head Radiological Technologist

Japan Research Promotion Society for Cardio-Vascular Diseases Sakakibara Heart Institute - Tokyo, Japan

“My jaw dropped. The D-SPECT image is simply breathtaking!”

We are a cardiovascular specialty hospital and perform about 2500 MPI cases a year. It has been 4 years since the D-SPECT was installed.

The D-SPECT ‘s high system sensitivity and spatial resolution has allowed us to perform procedures (Myocardial Flow Reserve measurement by Dynamic SPECT, Left atrium ganglion plexus imaging by I-123 mIBG, Simultaneous Dual isotope imaging & ultra low dose imaging) that were impossible by conventional SPECT. The system has also allowed for increased patient comfort, again not possible with the previous conventional SPECT camera.

We are appreciative of the quick and accurate correspondence from the applications, service & software teams, whenever we have questions or there is a system issue.

Our physicians want to provide the best diagnostics procedures and treatment to their patients. With the D-SPECT, they have their high speed SPECT.

Thom Collard, BS, RT(R), (N), CNMT, Supervisor Nuclear Cardiology

Michigan Heart/SJMHS - Ann Arbor, Michigan

After finding ourselves with the challenge of replacing an outdated camera just about the time the new regulations were coming down to reduce patient exposure, we set our sites towards the Spectrum D-SPECT® camera. Admittedly, we were skeptical. After all, how could something that simple and that small have big results.

After much research and a few site visits we committed to the D-SPECT camera and have had no regrets since. We experienced excellent sales service followed by very professional and fast installation as well as thorough on-site training and support.

Outside of the obvious reduced dosage (we use a BMI short scale), reduced image time and superior image quality, we have increased our department efficiency and have gone from a 2-camera department (one anger camera), to a one camera department as we use the D-SPECT exclusively.

Image quality of larger patients (up to 500 lbs.) have been nothing short of incredible. With the shorter imaging time, we find repeat imaging due to motion a thing of the past and patients whom have had earlier imaging experience with us are elated.

After purchase, support and maintenance have been excellent. We did experience a few bugs in the first couple months but am happy to say they were promptly addressed and issues did not re-occur. Up time for the camera over the last year has been at 99% which I have never experienced in my 30 years in the field.

We have 6 cameras within our practice and are looking forward to adding more D-SPECT units as existing cameras reach end of life. We are also looking forward to transitioning to the CFR software in the very near future.

Wayne E. Dunkle, Director of Nuclear Medicine/PET-CT

Washington Hospital Center - Washington, D.C.

The Spectrum Dynamics’ D-SPECT® Cardiac Imaging System has been instrumental in helping the Washington Hospital Center’s Nuclear Medicine department survive the 99mTc shortage.

The system has allowed us to reduce our 99mTc doses by one-third. There was no compromise in image quality with scan times of less than 6 minutes. We get excellent quality images even with obese patients (300+), by increasing the acquisition time by 3 minutes per study.

The system has become the choice for returning elderly outpatients. The patients rave about the comfortable non-tortuous imaging position, short scan times, and non-claustrophobic environment. The comfortable positioning and decreased scan times have been helpful in reducing motion problems thereby decreasing re-imaging by 50%.

The camera has proved to be very reliable- with a 12-month uptime around 98%. On average, we do 36 studies daily (Monday-Friday) and 12 studies on Saturday.

I would recommend the D-SPECT to any hospital or private office who is interested in improving their throughput and patient satisfaction.

Dave Osborn, Supervisor of Nuclear Cardiology

Cardiovascular Center of Marin

Our experience with the D-SPECT® has been overwhelmingly positive. Our throughput has increased but we have also decreased the exposure to our patients because our camera allows us to use much smaller doses. The image quality is superlative. The recent technetium shortage forced us to switch to thallium yet we still gate our patients and with excellent results. However, the best result has been the response to the camera from our clientele. The speed of the study combined with the comfort of the equipment and its non-threatening, non-claustrophobic design have brought smiles and effuse praise from our patients, particularly those who in the past have had to deal with slower, less patient-friendly systems.

The D-SPECT never ceases to surprise and please me. The camera produces images of outstanding quality, even on large or petite patients. The stability of our system has given us peace of mind, knowing that we can count on our camera to perform when we need it. On those occasions when a problem has popped up, field service has been brilliant, diagnosing the cause quickly and returning our camera to service with blinding speed.

Spectrum Dynamics has been very proactive about improving their product. They have elicited feedback from us frequently and then acted on it, making an already excellent instrument better.

I have been in nuclear medicine for 27 years and have used nearly every brand of camera at one point or another in my career. Bar none, the D-SPECT is the finest camera I have ever used. In the D-SPECT, I have a powerful, stable, user-friendly platform backed by a superior service, customer-friendly, and proactive vendor dedicated to making their product better and easier to use. It has increased our productivity without lengthening my workday, thus satisfying the needs of my physicians, our management, and most importantly our patients.

Joan Cundey, RVT, RDMS, CMPE Practice Administrator

Carolina Heart & Vascular Center

We are a cardiovascular practice in South Carolina consisting of four cardiologists (three interventional, one invasive & non-interventional) and two cardiovascular surgeons. We have owned nuclear imaging equipment since 1991. Prior to acquiring the Spectrum-Dynamics, we were using an Elscint Cardial purchased in 1998. We were obtaining about ten studies per day with the Elscint, but our back-log of patients spanned over several weeks; obviously not a good situation for a cardiology practice. In addition to badly needing more through-put, we had struggled with service issues with the Elscint over a period of a couple of years. As you may know, GE service is not ideal for the Elscint equipment.

After reviewing each manufacturer, we realized that there was nothing really “new” on the market except for the solid state camera. Increasing through-put appeared to be easy with this technology. It is also capable of so much more, including functional data that has never been acquired with a gamma camera. The possibilities of future developments with this technology are also endless.

We decided to “bite the bullet”, take the plunge, or whatever you prefer to call it, in spite of all the negative comments made by the competitors, i.e.,

  1. It’s more expensive
  2. Questionable stability of the company
  3. Who performs the service?
  4. Too difficult of a transition for the technologists, etc.

Our actual experience has been the following:

  1. The easiest installation we have ever experienced in 35 years of practice
  2. Our technologists transitioned well within a week
  3. Our patients are in love with the chair and the much shorter scan time – we can also scan heavier patients than ever before with terrific image quality
  4. Images are outstanding on everyone
  5. We have easily added three patients per day after only six weeks of use – we are experimenting with our protocols in order to do more
  6. The foot-print of the camera is very small
  7. We have had no service or application issues.

As you can tell, we are extremely happy that we purchased the Spectrum-Dynamics. We are excited to be working with a company who is on the cutting edge of technology, still moving forward, and have made this opportunity an affordable one for most practices.

Mathews Fish, MD, Director of Nuclear Medicine

Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute, Sacred Heart Medical Center, RiverBend

My aim is to share with you our experience of integrating the D-SPECT® into a busy hospital’s Nuclear Medicine Department in a 450-bed regional medical center with a very active heart and vascular institute. Our daily volume is 25-30 patient studies of which 40% are myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Approximately 75% of our studies, including nuclear cardiology, are performed on outpatients.

The D-SPECT was installed and operational in early December 2009. Initially, we were involved with technologist and physician training and optimizing procedures. A comparison study of patients imaged by both standard cameras with attenuation correction and the DSPECT uniformly demonstrated superior quality of the D-SPECT images and confirmed its diagnostic accuracy. It was also noted that D-SPECT images in very large patients (BMI >45) maintained excellent quality as compared to the degraded quality noted in many such patients with our standard cameras. Determination of global systolic function (LVEF) was more accurate in patients with significant arrhythmias due to the ability to exclude irregular heartbeats with the D-SPECT. During January 2010, we transitioned our MPI to the D-SPECT–including the reporting of results. Using a radiopharmaceutical dose and imaging time schedule based on BMI and imaging the stress study in upright and supine positions, our routine scheduling easily allowed for 10 patient studies per workshift. We found that a majority of large patients (BMI >50) can be imaged using a same day rest/stress protocol without loss of quality.

The shortage of 99mTc required the use of 201Thallium (201Tl) for some of our studies. Using a rest 201Tl/stress 99mTc Sestamibi D-SPECT protocol, we found that the high quality and appearance of the 201Tl images were quite similar to the 99mTc Sestamibi images enhancing the comparison of the rest/stress images. As it has been noted that the high quality of the 201Tl images can be obtained up to 48 hours, we have extended our 201Tl myocardial viability protocol in an attempt to increase the sensitivity of this technique to detect viable hibernating myocardium.

Taking advantage of the short imaging time and high image quality, we plan to move toward more flexible scheduling to speed up the diagnostic process of patients in the Emergency Department and hospital. In order to help achieve this flexibility and enhance patient throughput, we have begun to use initial stress imaging in selected patients and performing rest imaging only if the stress study is abnormal. Such stress-only protocols, as well as appropriately adjusting the radiotracer dose and duration of imaging, will be evaluated in order to decrease patient radiation exposure and maintain image quality.

Taking advantage of the current intrinsic capabilities of the D-SPECT, there are studies underway involving: 1) A single simultaneous dual radionuclide (201Tl and 99mTc) rest/stress imaging protocol; 2) Quantitative tomographic blood pool ventricular function; and 3) Quantitation of regional coronary flow reserve as an adjunct to myocardial perfusion imaging.

Richard Underwood, MD, Professor of Cardiac Imaging

Royal Brompton Hospital - London, UK

We were excited to be able to install a Spectrum Dynamics Medical D-SPECT® system at Royal Brompton Hospital in London recently. We are a specialist teaching hospital for the heart and lungs and have a major interest in nuclear cardiology with an important record of research and teaching as well as clinical practice in this area. The D-SPECT camera complements our existing facilities perfectly and we have been able to take advantage of its high sensitivity and resolution. The images are very high quality compared with conventional cameras and the relatively open gantry makes imaging much easier for our patients. We are also excited about the possibility of quantitative myocardial perfusion and simultaneous dual-isotope acquisition combining MPS and mIBG to provide guidance in patients undergoing electrophysiology ablations.

We have found Spectrum Dynamics Medical to be an excellent partner in this new venture. They are a company with a vision for the future of nuclear cardiology and we look forward to a continuing and productive relationship with them for the benefit of our patients.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Patrick Reinartz, Medical Director

MVZ radios GmbH - Düsseldorf, Germany

Our department received the D-SPECT® camera in October 2013. Right from the beginning everything went perfect. The system was set up and ready to use in no time. Training of our staff took only three days. At the end of that period, the whole load of our myocardial perfusion scans was immediately shifted to the new camera system.

Our experiences with the D-SPECT camera are unanimously positive. We were able to increase the number of examinations done per month by more than 25%. The system is easy to use, fast, and highly reliable. Patient handling is exceptionally easy. However, without doubt the most important aspect is the increase in image quality. Working with the D-SPECT system is like removing a veil from the scans. The precision of our reports improved significantly leading to an increase in requests for myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, as we have never experienced before. Patients accept a waiting time of two weeks and more just to be examined in our department although other clinics offer open slots. Adipose patients, claustrophobic patients – not a problem at all.

Innovations in the field of Nuclear Medicine have become rare over the last years. Doubtlessly, the D-SPECT camera is such an innovation with the potential to improve and rejuvenate the method. We are very happy for the opportunity to use this new technique. Our experience: Once you have used the D-SPECT system, you do not want to go back to conventional SPECT cameras.