Philips Healthcare has recalled the Argus nuclear camera. They're recommending that use of the system stop and labeling it possibly dangerous due to a "compromised weldment".
At the time we write this, there isn't a lot of press on the matter, but our Argus-owning contacts are beginning to receive letters like the one below.
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In light of this, if you've got an Argus, it may be time to begin looking for a new nuclear camera solution. Here are some factors to bear in mind as you consider your next step for nuc med.
Why People Liked the Argus
The Argus was a single-head camera and, therefore, superior to dual-head systems with regards to specificity, although slower in terms of acquisition. In addition, patients that are difficult to transfer (GI bleed or HIDA patients) are more easily imaged with systems like the Argus.
What the Argus Can Be Replaced With
If you require a single-head camera and are comfortable with the same level of technology (or even if you think the Argus was "overkill") the Philips Cardio 60 and the Siemens Orbiter are good alternatives. And, with prices for these models averaging $50,000 - $75,000, they are also economical alternatives.
If you want to take this opportunity to look at other options, there are several to choose from. The Siemens E.CAM, Philips Forte, and GE Millenium are all dual-head, general-purpose nuclear cameras that can do the following studies:
- Heart studies
- Bone studies
- Liver studies
- Lung studies
- White blood cell labeling
- Thyroid scans or uptakes
- Gallbladder studies
- Renal studies
The Argus was generally installed in a room at least 13'x17'. Choosing from the options above could necessitate some remodeling, so be sure to assess your space carefully.
- Philips Forte- 13'x18' is ideal, but it could be squeezed into a a bit less
- Philips Cardio 60- 12'x15' minimum
- GE Millenium MG- 15'x17.5'
- Siemens E.CAM- 15'x18' is ideal
As more and more facilities begin to respond to the Argus recall, demand for alternative cameras will go up faster and faster. If you own an Argus now, we recommend contacting a refurbished imaging equipment vendor sooner than later to discuss your best replacement option.
If you want more details on any of the models we've mentioned above, feel free to contact us. We're happy to help you find the answers to your nuc med questions.