July 13, 2011
A new nuclear scanner at Fort Memorial Hospital provides high-quality images to help doctors quickly and accurately diagnose heart disease and cancer with optimized X-ray dose.
The Infinia Hawkeye 4 nuclear system from GE Healthcare gives doctors information about both the nature and the precise location of disease, all in a single exam that is quick and comfortable for patients.
“This is the latest advancement in hybrid scanners, which combine nuclear imaging with computed tomography (CT),” said Cathy Hovel, manager of radiology. “It provides sharp, high-quality images that help our doctors make confident diagnoses. It’s a big step forward in diagnostic confidence and patient comfort.”
Doctors use the scanner mainly to diagnose heart disease and to identify and locate cancerous tumors. Before the scan, the patient receives an injection that travels in the bloodstream. During the exam, a detector records emissions, and the CT scanner takes pictures of the person’s anatomy. Images from heart exams help doctors locate areas where the heart muscle is not receiving enough blood. Images from cancer exams show doctors the exact location of active tumors so that they can effectively plan surgery or other treatments.
“A typical exam takes as little as ten minutes,” said Hovel. “The exam table is designed to let patients get on and off easily. It is also comfortable, which means patients can easily hold still, letting doctors get the best possible images.