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BWH Radiology’s Division of CT this winter began using two new Siemens computed tomography (CT) scanners that come with the latest innovations.
The Siemens Sensation Open, in BWH’s CT1 suite, is an interventional CT scanner that features an 82-centimeter opening and real-time imaging package software. Suite CT3 contains the Siemens Definition, which uses Dual Source technology or two imaging tubes to collect twice the amount of data as traditional CT machines.
“These scanners represent the latest in CT technology; both our diagnostic imaging and interventional services will be greatly enhanced,” said Stuart Silverman, MD, director of Abdominal Imaging and Intervention, CT Scan and Cross-sectional Interventional Service.
CT1: Siemens Sensation Open
An additional 12 centimeters—less than 5 inches—may not seem like a lot of extra space to the average person, but it represents a significant increase for a radiologist maneuvering catheters during an interventional procedure. The Siemens Sensation Open scanner features a larger bore or opening that leaves more room for such procedures around larger patients.
This scanner also allows for real-time imaging, so-called CT fluoroscopy, that helps interventional radiologists guide needles, catheters and therapy devices into the body. The CT scanner displays images of the abnormality to the radiologist in the room; devices are tracked using CT fluoroscopy. The scanner is used by the Cross-sectional Interventional Service to perform tumor and tissue biopsies, catheter drainage of fluid collections and percutaneous tumor ablations.
“This scanner is the best interventional CT scanner that I have worked with to date,” Silverman said. “We’ve been performing CT-guided interventions for several years; this scanner helps us perform the procedures more effectively and efficiently.”
CT3: Siemens Definition
BWH is one of only a handful of hospitals in the country—and the only Harvard-affiliated hospital—equipped with the Definition. “The benefit to our patients is the ability to image non-invasively the coronary arteries, a large potential benefit over traditional coronary angiography,” said Frank J. Rybicki, MD, PhD, co-director of Cardiovascular Imaging in the Department of Radiology. “The challenge for CT is to obtain speeds that rival projection images in conventional imaging, and the Definition has brought BWH far closer to that goal.” Patients can now be scheduled for noninvasive coronary imaging with this technology. The fact that two x-ray tube and detector units are simultaneously acquiring data gives BWH imagers a distinct advantage in imaging the coronary arteries. These advantages are expected to expand the clinical service and contribute to the changing role of coronary artery diagnoses.
“This represents a significant enhancement of our diagnostic imaging capabilities and a tremendous advancement in the care of our patients,” Rybicki said.