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New Hospital CT Built for Speed
by Lianne Carr

In July a new General Electric high speed CT (computed tomography) unit was installed in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. According to Dr. Matt Bischoff, a fellow in diagnostic imaging, “The new CT is a significant improvement over our previous unit.”

[new CT unit] [Image acquired with the new CT unit]
Images acquired with the new CT unit can be used to create three-dimensional reconstructions for research, teaching, and clinical applications.

The CT is mainly used as a diagnostic tool. For example, its cross-sectional view of the body helps find suspected tumors in nasal cavities, the thorax, and the abdomen. It is also often used to examine spinal cord lesions after myelography and to evaluate certain orthopedic diseases, such as osteochondrosis in dogs’ legs.

The new unit acquires one slice (image) per second. This is considerably faster than the previous CT unit, which could acquire only five to six slices per minute. On average, most studies consist of 80 to 100 images. With the increased speed of the new unit, patients are under anesthesia for a shorter time period. Eventually, certain procedures may be able to be performed under sedation rather than general anesthesia, notes imaging technologist Richard Keen.

In addition to decreased image acquisition time, the new unit is able to reconstruct additional images in multiple planes (sagittal, dorsal, or oblique) within seconds. Images acquired with the new CT unit can also be used to create three-dimensional reconstructions for potential research, teaching, and clinical applications (such as with comminuted fractures). The new unit is also more compatible with the PACS system for image archiving, and the images are accessible through the hospital’s computer network.

With its speed and advanced capabilities, the whole imaging process is now more efficient for patients and clinicians alike.

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