GE is nothing if not consistent when it comes to naming conventions. First it was Hispeeds and Lightspeeds, then Discoveries, and now: Optimas. There are Optima X-ray rooms, Optima MRI scanners, and Optima CTs. I'm not even sure what else, but my kitchen is due for an upgrade and an Optima refrigerator sounds pretty cutting edge. Other Optima modalities aside though, this article is intended to clarify the various types of Optima CT.
Below, we'll share a brief overview of the four members of the GE Optima CT scanner family, including slice count, tube type, ASIR availability, and special features.
GE Optima CT Series 101
GE Optima 660
The Optima 660 is available in a 32-slice, a 64-slice, and a 128-slice version. At these slice counts, the 660 is well-suited for cardiac and coronary angiography applications. The 660 uses the Performix 40 tube (6.3 MHU) with a 40 mm V-Res detector. Currently, ASIR is not standard on this model, but can be added as an option.
GE Optima 520
This scanner is 16-slice only, a good candidate for general-purpose, day-to-day scanning. The Optima 520 uses a Solarix (3.5 MHU) tube, which makes it better-suited to lighter patient volumes. Technologically, it’s difficult to see any significant advancements in the Optima 520 over the Brightspeed series. ASIR is optional on this scanner as well.
GE Optima 540
Like the Optima 520, the Optima 540 is a 16-slice machine. The difference is that the features of the 540 are focused on the needs of emergency departments. Users can access the RIS list at the gantry, and the LCD touchscreen can do everything the console does except modify protocols. The 540 features the Performix 6.3 MHU tube, giving more volume capacity, and is compatible with the ASIR option.
The Optima 580W
GE's latest wide-bore (80 cm), the Optima 580W is generally used for oncology or bariatric studies. It also boasts a larger field of view, a 100kW generator, and a larger X-ray tube- the Perfomix Pro VCT 100 (8 MHU). In keeping with the rest of the family, the 580W does come with the option to have ASIR enabled.
Rather than pushing the envelope with bleeding edge tech every few years, GE seems to stick with tried-and-true technology and improve on it little by little. The Lightspeed and BrightSpeed product lines have consistently been some of the most sought after, “bread and butter” systems in hospitals and, for that reason, GE has kept most of those systems’ popular features while incrementally improving on them in less than flashy ways.
At the end of the day, using an Optima CT scanner will be very much like using a Lightspeed or Brightspeed. If you're of a mind to acquire one, you'll have reliability, a low learning curve, and a handful of convenient new features to look forward to. If you're unsure about taking on the cost of equipment this new, a refurbished Lightspeed or Brightspeed scanner can offer you similar results for significantly less.