Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Generation of CT Scanners Provide Amazing Images

New CT Reveals Inner Structures of Body in Exquisite Detail

Computed tomography (CT) is an excellent noninvasive technique to investigate bones and soft tissue structures in a patient. Unfortunately, sometimes imaging can be difficult, as any movement from the patient can result in images that are unclear and need to be redone. This is especially difficult when dealing with patients who are young children, mentally impaired, suffering from motor disease, or are in pain. To ensure these images are clear, these challenging patients may require sedation, which is not desirable. General Electronics sought to facilitate treatment of these patients and improve the imaging process in general with the development of the Revolution CT.
CTs use a series of X-ray scans to create ‘slices’ of the patient’s body, which are then stacked to make a complete 3D representation.  Depending on what part of the body needs to be scanned, the process can take up to half an hour, which is a long time to ask someone to remain perfectly still. Revolution CT, on the other hand, is able to complete scans in the amount of time it takes for a single heartbeat to elapse. This means that even wiggly patients, or those with erratic heartbeats, can be imaged in less than one second, with no sedation required.
Additionally, Revolution CT is able to complete the scan using up to 82% less ionizing radiation than traditional CT scanners, which is ideal in use with pediatric and oncology patients. The machine is also sensitive enough that it could obtain images using less contrast dye, which is welcome news for those who are sensitive to those chemicals. 
The Revolution CT is able to get such clear images due to the camera’s motion correction, which is very similar to the image stabilizing technology found inside handheld point-and-shoot cameras. This allows the machine to correct for any fast movements and reduce noise in the picture, even when faced with rapid heartbeats. It is equipped with the fastest scintillator in the industry, capturing the images very quickly. Additionally, the machine’s collimator reduces the scatter of the beams, which helps resolve artifacts that occur during the imaging process.
Medical professionals got their first glimpse at this amazing machinery in late 2013. West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami became the first medical facility to use the purchased equipment, after the facility hosted a six-month-long clinical trial. Ricardo Curry, the hospital’s chairman of radiology and PI of the study, praised the device and told BusinessWire that “[t]he Revolution CT exceeded our expectations during the trial, and we are pleased to add this technology permanently to our comprehensive diagnostic imaging arsenal.”
Beyond just making the imaging process easier, the images themselves are astonishingly clear and detailed. Have a look at some of these examples, provided by GE Healthcare:
The Circle of Willis connects the blood vessels that nourish the brain. It creates redundancy in the brain’s blood flow, so in case one pathway becomes obstructed, blood can still circulate throughout the brain.

Pelvis and aorta

The whole aorta and kidneys.

Sagittal view of chest cavity and heart:

Heart with stents, which are mesh tubes used to hold open arteries:

The technology also makes it easier to view internal fixation devices, such as screws and plates.

Foot with screw: 

[All images credited to: GE Healthcare]

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