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New CT Scanner Improves Diagnostic Abilities, Reduces Radiation

May 11, 2010
New CT Scanner at MDI Hospital
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Mount Desert Island Hospital’s recently installed 64-slice CT scanner continues the hospital’s tradition of introducing “cutting edge” medical imaging technology to our community. This new CT (Computed Tomography) scanner significantly improves diagnostic capability while reducing radiation exposure and improving patient comfort. The new Toshiba Aquilion® 64-slice CT scanner replaces a four-slice scanner, installed in 2002, that at the time was the only one of its type in the state.  “Because we are committed to providing the latest imaging technology to ensure the best diagnostic capabilities for our patients, we decided to progress to the next level” said MDI Hospital’s Medical Director of Medical Imaging John Benson, MD, FACR.

The new scanner captures 64 simultaneous anatomical slices of 0.5 mm in a single rotation. This creates a volume of data that provides the radiologist (medical imaging physician) greater diagnostic capabilities and helps patients avoid more invasive medical procedures. The system’s sensitivity and accuracy results in precise images of the body’s rapidly moving organs like the heart.

“The rapid data reconstruction feature of the new scanner allows us to rapidly scan and assess patients. This is particularly important with trauma patients because it saves valuable time in getting them from the CT suite to the operating room,” said Dr. Benson. This will speed clinical decision-making and shorten length of stay in the Emergency Room. With a gantry rotation time of less than 400 milliseconds a typical scan of the chest or abdomen can be done in 10-12 seconds, easily within the breath-holding ability of most patients.

This particular scanner features advanced technology that reduces radiation dose exposure to patients. “A computer continually monitors radiation dose to optimize image quality with the least possible amount of radiation. This results in an average dose reduction by up to 40% when compared to other scanners,” said Dr. Benson.

The speed of the exam and, in particular, the radiation dose reduction makes the scanner more child-friendly. “For the pediatric age group, we still encourage providers to consider other non-radiation modalities such as ultrasound. However when a CT is the only way to obtain the information needed to treat a child, we are confident that the patient receives the minimum dose necessary to produce good quality images.

“It is wonderful that our small community hospital can offer cutting edge technology to our friends and neighbors,” said Lin Polen, Director of Medical Imaging. “We have worked tirelessly to ensure that staff is fully trained in this advanced technology to provide maximum patient care.”

The Aquilion® 64 includes patient-friendly features to make the exam experience more comfortable for patients.  It features multilingual voice prompts and movies to enhance patient compliance during scanning. The new scanner was designed with the realization that this country is experiencing an obesity epidemic so the patient couch can now hold up to 660 lbs.

“We’re excited about this new CT scanner,” said Dr. Benson. “It will greatly enhance our diagnostic abilities while ensuring a more safe, comfortable experience for our patients.”

Posted in 2010