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Digirad Corp. (DRAD) Developing Cardiac Imaging System, With Distortion Correction

Digirad Corporation (NASDAQ: DRAD) announced Friday the beginning of trials on a new medical imaging system, which will use proprietary technology to correct image distortion. The company says its new Cardius X-ACT system is expected to be available for sale in mid-2009, pending required regulatory approvals.

Attenuation, or image correction, is a common issue in myocardial perfusion imaging, also known as cardiac imaging based on SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography). The process to capture images includes injection of small amounts of radioactive substances, which can then be tracked.

Solutions to lessening attenuation already exist, said Richard Conwell, senior vice president of technology, “but they involve tradeoffs, such as “noisy” images, truncated scans, lengthy procedures with risk of excess movement by patients, or higher levels of radiation dosage.”

SPECT images are used to identify blockages in coronary arteries, evaluate risk of a heart attack, and assess a patient’s condition after major heart surgery. “We are seeing improvement in imaging clarity and accuracy, more rapid imaging, and a significant reduction in radiation dosage,” said Digirad CEO Mark Casner.

The new system, Cardius X-ACT, will be exhibited in the coming week at the 2008 Annual Scientific Session of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Sept 10-14, at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

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