New CT, SPECT-CT at Chatham-Kent
November 7, 2018
CHATHAM, Ont. – The newest diagnostic imaging equipment to arrive at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance not only provides state-of-the-art technology, it also offers greater confidence in making diagnoses. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to unveil the new CT Scanner and Wiet Peeters & Family CT Scan Suite at the Chatham site of the CKHA. The event also was an opportunity to show off a new SPECT CT Scanner and mammography equipment.
Stephen Lourie (pictured), manager of diagnostic imaging and respiratory therapy, said the new CT scanner acquires 256 slices at a time, compared to the 16 slices the old scanner could only offer. Using the analogy of slicing bread, Lourie said, “If you take a loaf of bread and you slice it in 16 pieces you’ve got Texas toast.
“Sometimes, buried in that thick slice, you may miss something,” he added. Lourie said in order to compensate for the fewer slices that were available, they had to overlap a lot, which is why it took 20 seconds to do a chest CT scan, compared to the two seconds it can be done with the new scanner.
The scanner also offers the latest technology in detectors, generating better resolution that improves the ability to see the smallest area, providing greater confidence in making diagnoses. Lourie said the scanner also has “dual energy,” which provides the ability to take two separate pictures from different energy levels at the same time.
He said one of the pictures can be subtracted for the other to provide an enhancement of the image being looked at.
He cited, as an example, when looking at the blood supply to the neck, there are bones in the area, including the jaw and skull. He said one energy level can focus on the bones and the other can focus on blood flow. “I can subtract the bones away, leaving just the image of the blood flow to the brain without a shadow of bone over top of it,” Lourie said.
“So that would give much clearer images of blood supply to the brain or the kidneys or to other areas without the interference of any other body part,” he added.
Lourie said the SPECT (Single Photon Emission Tomography) CT Scanner, which is a hybrid of a nuclear medicine scanner and CT Scanner, is the first one of this generation from Siemens in the country to receive approval from Health Canada.
He said there has long been SPECT technology used at CKHA, which provides great sensitivity, but the resolution wasn’t great.
“Now, with the hybrid machine, having the SPECT CT, we can take the sensitivity of a nuclear medicine image and overlap, at the same time, a CT so we have the resolution of the CT and the sensitivity of the SPECT.”
These scanners are among the 17 new pieces of diagnostic imaging purchased with the more than $7 million raised through a diagnostic imaging renewal campaign that wrapped up in May.