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CT Console Upgrade Allows for Lowered Radiation Dose

| Date Posted: 1/4/2012

Lacey F. Moore, M.D.

Lacey F. Moore, M.D.

PINEHURST – In matters of patient radiation exposure, radiologists and other imaging professionals live by the acronym ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable).

The new GE ASIR computer console for the 64-slice CT scanner at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, along with the FDA-approved SnapShot Pulse package, provides much lower radiation dosages to patients while delivering images of equal quality to those of previous exams.

“The upgrade allows a very low radiation dose while preserving the high image quality required for accurate diagnosis,” says Lacey F. Moore, M.D., a radiologist with Moore Regional and Pinehurst Radiology. “In cardiac exams, the upgrade further reduces radiation dose by pulsing the CT beam so it is only on during the desired phase of the cardiac cycle. Radiation time is limited and may last less than two seconds.”

According to Danny Thomas, assistant director, CT, Moore Regional Imaging Services, the updated console has the ability to reduce radiation dosage up to 30 percent on all procedures for all patients and up to 83 percent in certain cardiac imaging examinations without affecting the quality of the image.

“With this upgrade, we are able to provide the best quality image with the lowest dose possible,” Thomas says.

CT (computed tomography) is a computer-aided X-ray procedure that combines many images to generate cross-sectional views or slices and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. Physicians use the technology to help diagnose disease in almost every part of the body – from the head to the toes.

The dose-reduction technology provided by Moore Regional’s new console is particularly helpful in allowing radiologists to limit radiation exposure in children and small adults who are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation. Because less technique is needed to get the same image quality, the technology also improves scans in larger patients.

The console upgrade also contributes to faster image reconstruction times (up to 35 images per second) while extensive workflow improvements minimize user-entry error, speed processing times and allow more time for technologists to focus on patients.

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