If you're in the market for a PET/CT scanner, you know there are a plethora of options to choose from. Among those options is the Siemens Biograph PET/CT series.
Below we will dive into the world Siemens Biograph PET/CT series, from its early days to the technology available on the secondary market today and give some recommendations on which one may be right for your imaging study needs.
Siemens Biograph Classic, Duo, and 16 (2000-2005)
Siemens introduced the Siemens Biograph PET/CT series to the medical imaging world in the early 2000s through a partnership with CTI to create their first hybrid scanners.
These systems combined the CTI Reveal PET scanner (branded as the Siemens ECAT Accel) with a choice of single-slice, dual-slice, or 16-slice CT scanners.
This marked the inception of Siemens' journey into the world of PET/CT imaging.
These have mostly passed from the install base and are used of parts and to help maintain other systems as they come out.
Siemens Biograph Truepoint and HiRez (2005-2012)
In 2005, Siemens took a significant step forward by introducing the Biograph 6 Truepoint, a mobile-ready high-definition PET scanner paired with the Emotion 6 CT scanner.
This system was well suited for myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and mobile applications. They integrated the Truepoint technology into the 16-slice CT scanner in 2010.
In 2006, Siemens also introduced the Biograph 40 and 64 Truepoint systems, which featured Truepoint PET scanners coupled with Sensation 40 and 64-slice CT scanners.
While not designed for mobile applications, these systems were capable of performing both cardiac PET and cardiac CT scans, expanding the scope of diagnostic possibilities.
The competitive landscape pushed Siemens to enhance its offerings. To compete with GE's Discovery STE 16s in mobile applications, Siemens introduced Truepoint technology to the Emotion 16 air-cooled gantry, providing a mobile-ready 16-slice PET/CT system.
Siemens Biograph MCT (2009-present)
In 2009, Siemens introduced the Molecular CT (mCT) series featuring PET scanners in 20, 40, 64, and, for the first time, 128-slice configurations, all built upon the advanced Definition AS CT platform.
The PET portion of these systems incorporated Truepoint technology with smaller and more sensitive crystals, enabling time-of-flight imaging. Time of flight was originally an option but seems to be standard now the way that electric windows are now on cars.
Initially, in 2006, you could get Truepoint PETs with 3 or 4 rings. Today, Truepoint PETs with 4 rings are the norm, incorporating TrueV technology for enhanced speed and efficiency.
Siemens Biograph Horizon (2015-present)
In 2015, Siemens introduced the Horizon 16 PET/CT system. These systems gained popularity with their low power requirements, compact footprint, air-cooled design, and mobile readiness.
They are highly sought-after for mobile trailers, although they remain relatively scarce in the secondary market compared to the mCT series.
Siemens Biograph Vision (2019-present)
The latest addition to the Biograph family is the Vision series, introduced in 2019. Siemens opted for digital photomultiplier sensors instead of tubes in these systems. Paired with Siemens Definition AS scanners, the Vision series offers 20 to 128-slice configurations.
As of late 2023, these systems have not yet surfaced on the secondary market.
So, now that you have an overview of the Siemens Biograph PET/CT series, which one would fit your imaging needs?
For myocardial perfusion imaging without flow, any Truepoint system will perform wonderfully.
If you want to add CT Angio, or other cardiac CT studies, you may need to move to a 64 slice system to ensure reimbursement.
If it’s PSMA or Oncology, any Truepoint with any slice will work.
If you need to do Cardiac PET with flow, then you’ll want to look at systems that are part of the mCT family and above.
If you need time of flight, metal artifact reduction or the most modern system available on the secondary market, then the mCT and above will be your best choice.
Josh Nunez is the Director of Product Management at Block Imaging. Josh is energized by developing an understanding of each customer's unique imaging needs and overcoming the challenge of helping find them the perfect equipment match. When he is not providing PET/CT solutions he enjoys traveling, soccer, and spending time with his wife and five kids.