Positron Anticipates Cardiac PET Demand to Increase Due to Expanding Reimbursment Differential Between PET and SPECT Imaging

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Positron Corporation (OTCBB:POSC - News) a molecular imaging solutions company focused on Nuclear Cardiology, predicts a significant rise in demand for Cardiac PET in 2010 with a proposed cut in SPECT reimbursement of 46% and an increase in PET reimbursement of 22%, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The nuclear medicine imaging community continues to face challenges with Cardiac SPECT due to Molybdenum shortages, cuts in reimbursement and an increase in operational costs. The proposed reduction in reimbursement by CMS for 2010, whose final decision is due out in early November, includes elimination and/or bundling of additional billing codes. The pressure on SPECT has caused physicians to revaluate their current technology offering and look to new sources of imaging income though PET.

CMS, has proposed an increase in the 2010 PET reimbursement by 22% ($1,429), while maintaining Rb82 reimbursement at $250 per dose. Additionally, there are new PET myocardial perfusion agents in clinical phase III trials and more than three other Cardiovascular PET specific radiopharmaceuticals in clinical phase I & II, which will drive demand for Positron’s Attrius™ Cardiac PET system.

sourceP: Positron


Despite Ongoing Patient Safety Concerns, Study Finds Adverse Reactions from Contrast Agents Used During CT and MR Imaging Rarely Occur

Iodinated and Gadolinium based contrast agents, frequently used during computed tomography (CT) and MRI scans to aid in the imaging process, are associated with a very low rate of adverse effects, according to a large cohort study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

The study, performed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, included a total of 456,930 contrast doses administered. “Only 522 cases of adverse effects were identified,” said Christopher H. Hunt, MD, lead author of the study. “The overwhelming majority of adverse effects were mild, represented with nausea and vomiting and mild rash. Only 16 cases necessitated transfer for further observation and treatment,” he said.

“Contrast agents are very safe to use and they are often essential in aiding the diagnosis of CT and MR studies. As our study suggests, with the advent of newer contrast agents we have been able to improve their power-ability and safety profile,” said Dr. Hunt.

source: ARRS


Cheap, Quick Bedside 'Eye Movement' Exam Outperforms MRI For Diagnosing Stroke In Patients

ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2009) — In a small “proof of principle” study, stroke researchers at Johns Hopkins and the University of Illinois have found that a simple, one-minute eye movement exam performed at the bedside worked better than an MRI to distinguish new strokes from other less serious disorders in patients complaining of dizziness, nausea and spinning sensations.

Results of the study of 101 patients , who were already at higher than normal risk of stroke because of factors including high blood pressure or high cholesterol, were published online ahead of print on Sept. 17 in Stroke. The patients were all seen at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill.

The project, spearheaded by a Johns Hopkins neurologist in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Illinois in Peoria, found that the quick, extremely low-cost exam caught more strokes than the current gold standard of MRI, suggesting that if further research on broader populations confirms these results, physicians may have a way to improve care and avoid the high costs of MRI in some cases.

source: Science Daily Release


Cardiac MRI Exams Emerge As "Gold Standard" For Heart-Cardio Imaging

Developments in imaging technology and software continue to help cardiac MRI exams gain prominence in the medical imaging market by meeting the demand for faster scan times and the ability to view areas of the body that were previously deemed impossible to image, according to "Medical Imaging Markets: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and Ultrasound" by healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information. And this trend will drive sales of MRI equipment. Kalorama projects sales of MRI equipment to customers in the still underutilized cardiac area to grow between 2.5% and 4% starting in 2010. World market revenue for MRI systems used in heart-cardio scanning is forecast to reach $605 million in 2012, up from $556 million in 2008.

"While it's likely that an ECG and angiography will be utilized before a cardiac MRI, the 3D whole heart applications provide an additional option for cardiologists," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "MRI will increasingly be used not just for more complicated applications, such as assessing a cardiac tumor, or evaluating congenital heart disease prior to surgery."

source: Medical News Today


Siemens and SurgiVision to Develop MRI-Guided Cardiac Electrophysiology System

Malvern, Pa., Sept. 8, 2009 – Siemens Healthcare and SurgiVision, Inc. today announced an agreement for the co-development and commercialization of a real-time magnetic resonance image (MRI)-guided cardiac electrophysiology (EP) system. The two companies are collaborating with the University of Utah to bring to the clinic a fully integrated, ground-breaking EP MRI system that promises to improve conventional catheter-based cardiac procedures.

“Siemens’ scanner technologies, platform for interactive real-time guidance, and market leadership in MRI are second to none. By bringing together Siemens’ capabilities with SurgiVision’s technologies and expertise in real-time MRI-guided interventions, we are well-positioned to deliver a fully integrated hardware, software and catheter system that will provide real-time visualization within an intuitive physician interface and a procedure that eliminates radiation exposure,” said Kimble Jenkins, chief executive officer of SurgiVision. He added, “Our close research collaboration with the University of Utah rounds out our team with deep clinical expertise and broad research capabilities.”

“We are excited to work with SurgiVision in the development of these important technologies that have the potential to significantly improve therapies for patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmias, in particular atrial fibrillation,” said Walter Märzendorfer, chief executive officer, Magnetic Resonance, Siemens Healthcare.

source: Siemens Medical


IMRIS receives FDA clearance for IMRISnv and IMRIScardio

WINNIPEG, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - IMRIS Inc. (TSX: IM) ("IMRIS" or the "Company") today announced that it has received
510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), permitting the Company to market its newest products, IMRISNV and IMRIScardio in the United States.

IMRISNV and IMRIScardio are the first systems in the world to allow the capabilities of both MRI and x-ray angiography in a single suite without theneed to transport the patient between modalities.

Neurovascular diseases including acute ischemic stroke require rapid assessment and treatment. IMRISNV features a wide bore 3T MRI scanner and a bi-plane angiography system completely integrated into a single suite that permits the patient to transition quickly and seamlessly between MR imaging and intervention without transporting the patient between modalities. Using IMRISNV, MR images can be
taken before and during procedures to assess tissue health, and can also be used in conjunction with the fluoroscopic images during the interventional procedure. On completion of the procedure, new images can be taken to evaluate the intervention.

source: IMRIS


PET/CT Scans May Help Detect Recurring Prostate Cancer Earlier

RESTON, Va.—A new study published in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography (PET)/computer tomography (CT) scans with the imaging agent choline could detect recurring prostate cancer sooner than conventional imaging technologies in some patients who have had their prostates surgically removed. In addition, the journal also includes a paper that provides a broader examination of new agents and techniques for imaging prostate cancer, which accounts for 10 percent of all cancer-related deaths in the United States and is the most common type of cancer among men.

Many men diagnosed with prostate cancer choose to have a radical prostatecomy, which involves surgical removal of the entire gland and surrounding tissue. However, prostate cancer recurs within five years in as many as 30 percent of these patients. Physicians monitor patients who have undergone the procedure by checking levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. If PSA is detected after radical prostatectomy—known as biochemical relapse—then imaging techniques are essential to determine whether and exactly where in the body the cancer has recurred. The study examined PET/CT scans with radioactively labeled choline—a promising molecular imaging tool which has been shown to be more accurate than conventional imaging techniques such as CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scintigraphy in detecting recurrent prostate cancer.

source: SNM

Syngo DynaCT Cardiac From Siemens: 3D Images For Cardiovascular Imaging

At the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress 2009, Siemens will be demonstrating a new cardiac application for the syngo DynaCT Cardiac imaging application. During transfemoral aortic valve replacement, a heart valve prosthesis gets implanted via peripheral artery access. To position aortic valve prostheses accurately, the cardiologist must have very precise knowledge of the individual anatomy of the patient's aorta. That's where syngo DynaCT Cardiac comes in: During the intervention, it generates CT-like cross-sectional images on an angiographic C-arm system and offers 3D reconstruction of the aortic root. These 3D images can be overlaid on actual fluoroscopic images and provide a kind of three-dimensional roadmap for the examiner. Thus, with syngo DynaCT Cardiac, the cardiologist can position the valve prosthesis more accurate and more quickly than before.

source: Medical News Today