GE Touts Nonionic Contrast Agent, New Reconstruction Software in Lowering Patient CT Doses

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A new study from MDx, the medical diagnostics business of GE, demonstrates strides the company has taken to reduce radiation exposure and iodine concentration in abdominal CT scan patients.

The chief catalyst for this announcement, GE says, is the proprietary contrast agent, Visipaque, also known as iodixanol, an isosmolar, nonionic chemical that the company says is more easily eliminated—and therefore suitable for use by more vulnerable populations—than iomeprol, another popular contrast agent.

The two chemicals have been juxtaposed before in previous studies in the British Journal of radiology and NIH clinical trials. GE presented its latest partner research—which was conducted by Dr. Jean-Louis Sablayrolles, Chief of the CT and MRI Department, Centre Cardiologique du Nord, St. Senis, France—at the European Congress of Radiology March 4, 2012.

“These types of protocols with low energy CT techniques which use a lower concentration of contrast could potentially help physicians in the future, enabling them to reduce both radiation exposure and the risk of cardio-renal related events, particularly in the more vulnerable population,” said Sablayrolles in a press release issued by GE.

The company further believes it can compensate for lowered doses of radiation by applying advanced reconstruction techniques to improve image quality, such as its Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) and Veo products.

These findings are good news for patients with renal complications, the company says; in addition to being consistent with its overall goal of lowering patient exposure to cumulative ionizing radiation, Visipaque is dialyzable and provides high contrast images of a comparable quality to those aided by the use of iomeprol.

“GE Healthcare is committed to continuing research in lowering iodine concentration in contrast media and radiation dose to improve patient care during diagnosis and treatment,” said Clemens Kaiser, General Manager, Contrast Media, GE Healthcare, and Medical Diagnostics, in the same press release.