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223 N. Van Dien Avenue
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CT Scanners Provide Low-Dose Imaging

 

The Valley Hospital has upgraded all three of its computed tomography (CT) scanners with high-definition systems and software technology that reduces the amount of radiation emitted during CT tests by up to 40 percent without compromising the quality of the images.

In a continued effort to reduce the amount of radiation delivered to patients during CT scans, Valley's three CT scanners in the Diagnostic Imaging Department and Emergency Medicine Department have been outfitted with ASIR (Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction) technology. ASIR helps to reduce image noise (graininess), improve the quality of the images, and enhance detectability using low-contrast materials.

"The benefits of using CT scanning to detect illness and injuries are enormous, yet healthcare professionals must be attuned to the amount of radiation that patients receive over their lifetime," says Brad Haspel, MS, RT, Assistant Vice President of Ancillary Services at Valley. "Our upgrades provide our radiologists with low-dose exceptional quality images to enable them to make accurate diagnoses while significantly reducing radiation exposure to patients."

John Timpanaro, RT, supervisor of CT Scan in Valley's Diagnostic Imaging Department, points out that although radiologic tests that do not utilize radiation - such as sonograms and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - are important in the diagnosis of many illnesses, the quick turnaround time of a CT scan and the type of images produced can be crucial to saving lives, especially in patients who are experiencing head trauma or other emergent conditions.

"Although a CT scan may be the definitive study that is needed, a physician may prescribe another test to limit radiation exposure, especially if the patient is a child," says Timpanaro. "With these ASIR upgrades, pediatricians and other physicians can feel confident in sending their patients for CT scans knowing that they will receive a lower dose of radiation."

He points out that patients who require frequent follow-up CT scans for chronic conditions can feel comfortable repeating these tests on a regular basis without increased radiation risk.

In another initiative to reduce radiation exposure in children, the Diagnostic Imaging Department participates in Image Gently™, a national campaign to provide the lowest dose of radiation possible during children's CT scans while still producing a quality image. As a sponsoring Image Gently™ facility, The Valley Hospital pledges to reduce radiation dosage in children, scan only when necessary, scan only the part of the body necessary to the test, and scan only once (studies have found that multi-phase scanning is rarely helpful in children). These measures are also carefully followed in scanning adult patients as well.

Valley's CT scanners are accredited by the American College of Radiology, and scans are only performed by advanced registered CT technologists.

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