World's First 64-Channel CT Scanner
Ushers in New Era in Heart Diagnostics
In June 2004, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin became the first hospital in the world with a 64-channel CT scanner. Physicians expect the new device will make diagnosing chest pain and other emergency symptoms faster and easier.
The new scanner, called a VCT, captures 128 image “slices” per second and operates four times faster than the standard 16-channel scanner. Dennis Foley, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin radiologist believes this increased speed will usher in a new era in heart diagnostics. “The heart is the last part of the vascular system able to be accurately imaged with CT,” he says. With standard technology, the beating of the heart can cause blurring and “motion artifacts” in the digital image. The new VCT eliminates this problem, producing crisp, clean views of the heart and coronary arteries.
Faster Answers, Easier on Patients Dr. Foley hopes the VCT will enable physicians to diagnose — noninvasively — symptoms that normally send people to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. Patients with chest pain, for example, typically undergo a coronary arteriogram. This procedure can take an hour or more and requires sedation, an incision and several hours of follow-up observation.
A VCT scan takes just ten minutes, providing fast answers in emergency situations. According to Dr. Foley, the device should prove useful not only in cases of suspected heart attack, but also for patients showing symptoms of stroke. In addition, because it is noninvasive, the VCT is a good choice for very ill patients, as well as those who need ongoing monitoring.
History of FirstsThe VCT is the latest computed tomography system developed by Waukesha-based GE Healthcare Technologies. Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin has been the company’s primary clinical test site for CT imaging equipment for more than 20 years. Clinical trials of the VCT begin at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin this fall.
Source: Froedtert Today
Date: November 2004