Patients who must undergo computed tomography (CT) scanning now have a new option for screening that is extremely fast, uses less radiation, and is safer for the kidneys.
With US Food and Administration (FDA) approval granted in April 2014, the Siemens Healthcare (Erlangen, Germany) Somatom Force CT scanner is currently available for patient use in only two sites in the United States, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC; Charleston, USA) and the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA).
Pioneering the new technology and evaluation its use in recent months, MUSC radiologist and professor Joseph Schoepf, MD, is excited about the new technology. “This technology is a dramatic leap that not only produces better images, but it really allows for a better patient experience,” he said. “Knowing there is less radiation and increased accuracy through this innovation in technology is invaluable to both patients and physicians. Similarly, knowing that only minimal amounts of contrast dye are needed is reassuring to patients with decreased kidney function and their doctors. Knowing the imaging study will be over in mere seconds can be a simple, yet dramatic comfort during a difficult time, especially in patients who have a difficult time staying still or holding their breath.”
With two sets of Siemens’ X-ray tubes and detectors, the Somatom Force CT extends sophisticated imaging to all patients, including some of the most challenging: young children, patients with kidney problems, and patients who are unable to hold their breath. By overcoming some of these imaging limitations, MUSC is making CT scanning available for a wider range of patients.
Former US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Philip Lader, recently underwent his scan with the new technology at MUSC. “By increasing diagnostic accuracy and decreasing the amount of radiation, as a patient, it just gives me more confidence in the tools they are using to help monitor my heart and make sure that we are doing what we need to do, when we need to do it.”
Medical University of South Carolina