While CT uses X-ray technology, it is distinguished from other diagnostic imaging tools like traditional X-ray and MRI by its ability to display a combination of soft tissue (like muscles, tissue, organs and fat), bones and blood vessels all in a single image. Clinicians perform CT scans to diagnose kidney, lung, liver, spine, blood diseases, cancer, tumors and cysts, as well as blood clots, hemorrhages and infections.
Toshiba’s multi-slice technology captures precise images of the body’s rapidly moving organs like the heart and lungs, which appear blurry when scanned by a traditional CT. Multi-slice imaging also is especially useful for examining patients who are unable to hold their breath, like trauma victims, acutely ill patients and young children.
The fast scanning capabilities and unmatched image quality offer significant benefits for a quick and accurate diagnosis of trauma patients experiencing chest pain or stroke. Additionally, chest exams, which take 20-30 minutes with a standard CT scanner, can now be performed in just 19 seconds with images that allow physicians to see internal injuries and disease in greater detail than ever before.
Temple Imaging Center is one of a handful of U.S. healthcare facilities to offer a powerful new tool for diagnosing coronary artery disease without penetrating the skin.
The five-minute test – called calcium scoring – uses computed tomography (CT) scans (or CAT scans) to look for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. Calcium is a component of arterial plaque, the fatty buildup that causes atherosclerosis by sticking to artery walls. When this plaque constricts blood flow it can lead to heart attacks. When it breaks loose and lodges elsewhere, it can trigger a stroke.
Temple Imaging Center clinicians are using the technique to measure the levels of calcium in a patient’s arteries – called a “calcium score.” A low calcium score indicates little risk of heart attack. A high score can be lifesaving by alerting cardiologists to the presence of heart disease and the need for further investigation.
The heart moves so quickly that it blurs images taken with traditional CTs. However, the CT used at St. Luke's Health-Memorial can scan the entire heart in 10 seconds, giving radiologists and cardiologists clear pictures of the heart and its vessels in between beats. The calcium score is then determined with the use of specialized computer software.
The CT's detector features a highly efficient ceramic material that is able to reduce the overall radiation exposure to patients, as well as to hospital staff. The system’s dose control features provide up to a 40 percent total dose reduction for the patient to make exams as safe and comfortable as possible. The system also accommodates the scanning of both larger and taller patients with the ability to expand its field-of-view to accommodate specific patient sizes and clinical needs.