SVMC Installs New 64-Slice CT Scanner

A new CT scanner at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) provides patients and physicians higher quality images that can be delivered faster and safer than ever before. The new Toshiba 64-Slice Aquilion scanner not only creates faster, clearer images, but it also reduces the radiation dose per image, making it much safer. The higher quality images mean that radiologists can spot things that would not have shown up in images from older systems .

“Imaging technology improves at a rapid rate,” stated SVMC radiologist, Dr. Daniel Fodor. “Our previous CT scanner was only eight years old. This new scanner is much faster and more efficient, which ultimately allows for a better quality exam with an overall lower radiation dose.”

A CT scanner is an advanced X-ray machine that can make three-dimensional images. Doctors use it to help diagnose a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, such as complex bone fractures, cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and internal trauma. It is frequently is used with a special dye called a contrast agent that improves the image of muscles, organs, and soft tissue.

For a given exam, the new 64-slice CT scan system can reduce patient radiation dose by two-thirds and the amount of contrast need by more than 40 percent. In addition, the system reduces the time required for diagnosis and also creates higher quality three-dimensional reconstructions for radiologists.

“The new scanner allows our patients to arrive in the department, have their study and be on their way much faster. ,” commented Melissa Spiezio, Director of Imaging Services. “This means our department is more efficient, which helps lower overall health care costs. ”

The new CT scanner and associated computer equipment, installed earlier this year , cost about $950,000. Installing the unit required modest renovation to the room that holds the scanner. It also required upgrading the room’s electrical system and renting a mobile CT for a short while.

SVMC is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, an integrated health system providing care for patients in Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont, Rensselaer, and Washington Counties in New York, and Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes the VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley Campuses.