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SACH's 64-Slice CT Technology

LatestNews_64SliceCTSan Antonio Community Hospital (SACH) has recently added a new state-of the-art 64-slice Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to its diagnostic technology. The 64-slice CT system is considered one of the fastest and most detailed scanners available in the world. This new generation scanner provides SACH physicians with the ability to view anatomical structures in greater detail and with more clarity than ever before.Traditional CT scanners have been used for many years as an important diagnostic tool, and work by directing x-ray beams through the patient’s body. The beams are caught by detectors, which spiral around the body and send them to a computer, which then creates 3D images. The new 64-slice technology has superior benefits over traditional 16-slice CT scans.

  • The 64-slice CT scanner produces 3D images with more sharpness, detail, and clarity than ever before. In a single rotation around the patient, the 64-slice scanner delivers 64 views of body tissues and organs, with individual “slices” as thin as 0.5mm. The thinness of the slices allows images to be manipulated in 3D in any view, without loss of detail or resolution. It even gives technicians the ability to peel away objects in 3D that might obstruct a view.

  • Scanning during an injection of intravenous contrast material can also be used to obtain high-resolution images of arteries, including those of the chest and abdomen, arms and legs, neck, brain, lungs, and even of the beating heart. This ability usually avoids the necessity of catheter angiograms, wich are considered invasive.

  • Ordinary CT scanning can take anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds per slice, or picture, but the faster 64-slice scanner has many rows of detectors (up to 64), which can take images in a fraction of the time. Shorter scanning time means patients only have to hold their breath briefly, which provides more patient comfort and can be especially important for pediatric patients and those with breathing difficulties.

The 64-slice adds an exciting dimension for both physicians and patients at SACH. “The hospital continues to make important investments in leading-edge technology that will allow us to provide the highest quality of patient care”, says Patrick Bryan, MD, a radiologist at the hospital. “This tool is another great asset for our Diagnostic Imaging Department, which continues to build its reputation for excellence in the region,” says Dr. Bryan.

The 64-slice is especially helpful for physicians at San Antonio Community Hospital’s Heart Center. Taking precise images of the heart and coronary arteries, the new scanner produces a virtual “road map” of the coronary arteries, allowing physicians to uncover blocked arteries and other cardiovascular abnormalities. According to B. Don Ahn, MD, Medical Director of the Heart Center’s Cardiac Catheterize Lab, “the new 64-slice can produce images of such superior resolution, that even the smallest coronary arteries can be viewed to detect blockages. Our patients will truly benefit from this new technology.”