Computer Tomography (CT Scan) is a diagnostic modality which uses a combination of information technology and x-rays which gives out high quality images of the horizontal and vertical slices of the body. It provides a detailed view of the different parts and organs including the muscles, the bones, the liver and the kidneys among others. The CT or the CAT scan have evolved from 16-slice to 64-slice scanners. These devices provide higher resolution images in a faster speed and offer less radiation exposure with each succeeding generation.
In the Heart Hospital Baylor in Denton, the next generation of the computer tomography scanner is now being utilized. In January, the health facility started using their 256-slice CT scanner, which is the first kind in Denton County.
Steven Mottl, D.O., the medical director of non-invasive cardiology at the said hospital stated that the new scanner provides excellent 3D images of the heart and its relevant anatomy in just a second. With this new technology, physicians and biomedical engineers are now able to characterize the arterial blockages of the patient and be able to make accurate predictions of the occurrence of cardiovascular morbidities such as heart attacks. Mottl further pointed out that the utilization of this new technology will allow the physicians to effectively screen patients who may need further diagnostic modalities and aggressive management, and, at the same time reassure the patients who have less risk for having heart attacks.
The 256-slice scanner also offers the additional advantage of less radiation exposure. According to Dr. Mottl, radiation tests such as the CT scan can account for up to 50% of a patient’s lifetime exposure. This might cause about 2% of all cancers and an increased risk of developing cataracts. Furthermore, Mottl points out that with this new CT scanner the radiation exposure is only equivalent to 100 chest x-rays as compared to an older CT scanner with 64 slices which can account to a radiation exposure comparable to a thousand or more chest x-rays.
The new scanner can also be used to diagnose other disorders aside from heart diseases. Dr. Steven Reiman, medical director of radiology at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, states that the new CT scan can also be utilized to screen and diagnose other vascular diseases of the whole body. Reidman explains that the scanner can be used to have a detailed view of the arteries of the kidneys, the legs and the carotids.
Baylor Health Care System. “256-slice CT scanner gives bird’s eye view.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2014.