January 12, 2010
Teays Valley Hospital has installed an advanced diagnostic system in its computed tomography (CT or “cat scan”) machine to help physicians reach confident diagnoses and provide a higher level of patient care. This new technology was unveiled at Teays Valley Hospital and a few other sites around the country last fall for other hospitals and physicians to see in action. The new software by GE Healthcare allows technologists to operate the CT machine at significantly lower radiation doses while maintaining quality images for radiologists to read. “Typically when using lower radiation dose in CT, the resulting image is not clear,” said Johnsey Leef III, MD, radiologist. “This new software uses special enhancement techniques to reconstruct data acquired using a lower dose of radiation, with the end result having the same image appearance and quality as if done with the typical higher dose.” “Patients will not notice a change in the procedure itself,” said April Amburgey, director, medical imaging at Teays Valley Hospital. “Behind the scenes though, our skilled technologists will be decreasing the patient dose anywhere between 30 and 50 percent by using the new software. Many patients are worried about radiation and its possible effects; this gives us a chance to focus more on their personal safety concerns.” This upgrade is especially beneficial for children and young adults who are more susceptible to harm from excessive radiation exposures. “I have always had a strong interest and desire in reducing radiation dose to our patients as the number of scans being ordered continues to rise,” Leef said. “This technology gives ordering physicians peace of mind that they are sending their patients to get scanned at a facility using the lowest reasonable dose while still achieving the highest quality available in the industry.” A CT is the diagnostic exam of choice when people are ill or injured, or when a physician suspects a medical problem that is not easily detectable with a conventional physical examination. As a “show site,” Teays Valley Hospital is leading the way by being the first and only site in our region and one of only a few in the country to begin using this new, cutting edge technology. “As a show site, doctors and hospital administrators from all over the country and Canada will be invited to come to Teays Valley Hospital to see and learn of this technology,” Leef said.

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