Other than an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) is likely to be the first imaging exam patients may encounter when they are suspected of having serious disease or injury.* Medical professionals use imaging to look inside the body for the purpose of diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions.
In the past, a CT scan meant lying still and holding your breath for an uncomfortable period of time. Additionally, the scanner itself created a claustrophobic experience for many patients.
The newest CT systems – like the GE Healthcare Revolution** Apex CT Scanner – mean a faster, more comfortable experience for patients with less radiation, as well as sharper results for clinicians.
What is CT?*
CT is a non-invasive and expedient way to look inside the body at organs, soft tissues, vascular structures and bones.
The technology uses X-rays to generate very high-resolution images of the body. It works by rotating an X-ray source and detector around the patient as the patient is moved through the device. Computer software is then used to reconstruct images from the information that is gathered during the rotations.
CT is used in the emergency department and general inpatient and outpatient environments, as well as to guide less-invasive interventional procedures like biopsies and ablations.
A first in WNC
CT scan technology has evolved dramatically over the years in capabilities, safety and comfort for patients. About 20 years ago, a CT exam could take 30 minutes or more. Now, a CT exam can collect images in just one to two seconds.
AdventHealth Hendersonville is the first health system in Western North Carolina to offer the GE Healthcare Revolution Apex CT scanner, which provides a look inside the body with enhanced imaging that helps clinicians diagnose and treat of some of the most challenging health conditions faster than ever before. The wide coverage of AdventHealth’s new Revolution Apex allows health care providers to scan entire organs such as the brain, heart, liver and pancreas in a single 0.28-second rotation. This means patients don’t have to hold their breath for as long, they don’t have to be exposed to as much radiation from the X-rays, and their doctors get more information from a single scan.
The benefits of speed go beyond a more comfortable experience. For example, in the case of stroke, the faster scan allows providers to gather information about function as well as anatomy, enabling a comprehensive stroke assessment of the brain in a single exam.
“This new technology allows us to scan critical patients, which includes those experiencing stroke, cardiac issues or trauma, and get results back to ER providers, surgeons and other providers very quickly,” says Todd Guffey, MSML, RT, (R)(ARRT), AdventHealth Hendersonville Director of Imaging.
Less anxiety, sharper results
In addition to speed, improvements of the new technology offered by the Revolution Apex include:
- A larger bore (opening), which is much more comfortable for each patient – especially those who are claustrophobic.
- Sedation-free and low-dose scans for pediatric patients.
- Low-dose, whole-organ diagnosis and follow up for oncology patients.
- Quieter scanning, soft ambient lighting, and a relaxing visual pattern inside the scanner.
- Detailed bone imaging, even for patients with metal implants.
AdventHealth began using the Revolution* Apex CT in early May and is already measuring performance data to assess and improve quality for various patients, including those experiencing symptoms of stroke.
*Courtesy of GE Healthcare
**Trademark of General Electric Company