Jeff Hough


Are you in the market for a CT scanner but are unsure which one is the best fit for your clinical needs? We’ve taken a close look at the GE’s LightSpeed, BrightSpeed and Optima CT scanners and prepared this comparison to help you determine which CT scanner is right for your practice, clinic, healthcare facility, or hospital. The most important aspect to consider when making your equipment purchasing decision is the machine’s ability to meet your specific clinical needs. We would like to help you make the right decision for your organization by providing you with information about the three most popular CT scanner models from GE.

GE Lightspeed

The LightSpeed was released in 2002 and features 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64-slice varieties. The most popular is the Lightspeed 16 and Lightspeed 64. Since its release, the LightSpeed CT has become one of the best-selling models due to its broad feature set, lower operational cost, and price.

Most LightSpeed CTs use a 6.3MHU x-ray tube which is priced lower than the tube in other models. Some LightSpeed systems, like the LightSpeed 16 PRO, feature the 8.0MHU x-ray tube which run a higher cost but have a longer life. While the tube is a significant factor in the overall cost of operation, the availability of parts for the LightSpeed and its broad adoption make the service costs more manageable.

Another upside to acquiring a LightSpeed CT is the cardiac options included in the VCT version. The LightSpeed VCT is able to scan the heart in as little as 5 heartbeats! This feature has proven critical in bringing cardiac capabilities to facilities with lower volumes or that have a tight budget. Physicians are now able to diagnose heart disease in at-risk patients without performing an invasive and risky procedure.

GE BrightSpeed

GE’s BrightSpeed was released in 2005 and is seen as the cheaper version of the LightSpeed. The BrightSpeed is available in 4, 8, and 16-slice counts. However, a key advantage of the BrightSpeed is that the system has a smaller footprint than the LightSpeed. If space is an issue for hospitals, clinics, or imaging centers, the BrightSpeed achieves both powerful performance and image capabilities in an ultra-compact design.

The BrightSpeed 16 Elite is the only GE 16-slice system that hosts its Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction, or ASiR. This is used to minimize noise in the image, reducing the radiation dose to obtain standard diagnostic quality images. The LightSpeed 16 cannot employ ASiR, but the 64-slice can be upgraded to feature the technique.

The Hewlett Packard Xtream computer console is a standard feature on the BrightSpeed CT scanner. Most LightSpeed systems, especially the lower slice systems, have an older console called the Octane computer. However, the LightSpeed can be upgraded to feature Xtream and GOC6 consoles if requested.

GE Optima

Now available as refurbished, the GE Optima CT is the successor to the LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CTs. Below we will discuss the 660, 540, and 520 Optima CT scanners.

The Optima 660 is available in 32, 64, and 128-slice counts. The 64 and 128 slice versions make it ideal for cardiac and coronary angiography applications. ASiR is also an option the Optima 660, enabling low-dose scanning. Powering the CT scanner is the Performix 40 tube which gives it a longer life than other versions. This tube is more durable and saves your organization the time and money that would be spent replacing the tube in a different CT scanner.

Similar to the 660, the 540, and 520 are able to support the ASiR option. While only available as a 16-slice machine they support the Solarix or Performix tubes. The Optima 540 has features that are strictly tailored to the specific needs of emergency departments. The healthcare professionals who use this machine are able to easily access the Radiology Information System (RIS) and the LCD touchscreen can do everything the console does, except modify protocols.

Meridian Leasing’s medical equipment experts ensure the highest quality of new and refurbished CT scanners for lease and sale at the lowest price. If you’re looking for a CT scanner, the healthcare experts at Meridian Leasing will walk alongside you to help you determine the right machine for your clinical and financial needs. Call +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected] for more details or to speak with a medical equipment specialist.