Tips for buying Gamma Camera

  1. Before deciding on a specific gamma camera (also known as scintillation camera) system configuration, facilities need to consider the number of nuclear medicine studies that will be performed and the clinical applications for which the new system will be used. At this point, the dimensions and weight of the system, humidity and temperature requirements should also be taken into consideration.
  2. Whole-body gamma cameras are commonly used for large and small organ studies. They are general-purpose imagers that usually use detectors with a relatively large field of view. Some have SPECT, FDG-SPECT, and coincidence imaging capabilities.
  3. Dedicated gamma cameras are designed for particular studies including PET/SPECT brain, small parts cardiac, and neurological applications, the detectors are generally smaller with a small field of view.
  4. Mobile gamma cameras usually use smaller detectors than stationary gamma cameras with a reduced field of view, and are mainly used for small organ studies including the thyroid and heart.
  5. Facilities planning to buy a mobile gamma camera system or stationary gamma camera should carefully select optional features. The type and number of these will greatly affect the final price.
  6. The cost of a dual-head or triple-head system is extremely higher than a single-head system, but multi-head systems allow faster acquisition times and better image resolution. This does not necessarily result in a significantly greater throughput because other factors, such as patient preparation time for example, remain unchanged.
  7. A dual-head gamma camera is ideal for single-pass whole-body bone scanning and general SPECT. However, for cardiac SPECT, a dual-head gamma camera with opposing detectors offers little advantage over a single-head scintillation camera, since SPECT data is acquired in a 180° arc, with most of the data acquired by one detector.
  8. Facilities planning to perform a wide range of studies will find a more efficient configuration in the variable-angle dual-head gamma camera because it allows the detectors to be positioned at 90°, 101°, or 180° relative to each other.
  9. Cardiac scans and certain other procedures can be performed with the detectors positioned at 90° or 101°, while whole-body bone scans and general SPECT studies can be performed with the detectors positioned at 180°.
  10. For brain and cardiac SPECT, triple-head gamma cameras are more commonly used; they can collect all image data for a heart scan in about one-third the time of a single-head camera and are well suited for nuclear medicine departments conducting many stress thallium or cardiac studies.
  11. Most gamma cameras have a 51 × 38 cm (20 × 15 in) rectangular large field of view (LFOV), and some provide an ultra large 61 × 38 cm (24 × 15 in) field of view. LFOV cameras cover larger areas of the body and acquire a complete study in less time, thereby increasing patient throughput.
  12. Facilities that are buying more than one gamma camera or adding on to existing gamma cameras should carefully consider interface between old and new systems. Buyers should consider purchasing multiple systems from one supplier. This will ensure easier training, simpler servicing and parts acquisition, and greater bargaining leverage when negotiating the purchase of new equipment or service-contract costs.
  13. Facilities should make sure that a scintillation camera is capable of sharing data with existing computer systems.
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