Upstate News

February 24, 2006
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

University Hospital acquires super-fast imaging system

SYRACUSE, N.Y.- University Hospital is the only hospital in the region to acquire a LightSpeed VCT, the most advanced computed tomography imaging system available from GE Healthcare. The VCT (Volume Computed Tomography), housed in University Hospital’s Emergency Department, produces 64 images in one 0.35-second rotation, providing doctors with new diagnostic power, including CT angiography and rapid tests for help in diagnosing patients with chest pain. The VCT is maintained and operated by the hospital’s Department of Radiology.

According to David Feiglin, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Radiology, the VCT will benefit patients in several ways. “University Hospital is the only hospital in the region to have this VCT capability in its Emergency Department, giving doctors and patients immediate access to a highly powerful and accurate CAT Scan when needed,” he said. “This is particularly important for University Hospital since it is designated by the state health department as the level one trauma center for our region.”

According to Feiglin, the VCT also brings a new era in imaging by offering doctors with an innovative way to diagnose cardiovascular disease. “We are currently using the VCT for more traumatic-related injuries,” he said. “However, within a few months, we plan to use the system to perform new and enhanced procedures such as CT coronary angiography to better evaluate patients who are suffering from chest pain.”

In this capacity, the LightSpeed VCT allows doctors to capture images of the whole heart and coronary arteries in just five heartbeats, providing clearer images of cardiovascular anatomy and a shorter breath hold for sick and elderly patients. It also gives doctors in a single fast scan the ability to rule out aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism and coronary artery disease, three of the primary causes of mortality in patients with chest pain.

Another advantage of the VCT is that it offers the speed and resolution required for rapid imaging of blood vessels in the brain. “This enables physicians to quickly diagnose a stroke and to determine the extent of damage, making a complex procedure easier and more routine for the physician,” Feiglin said.

In a single rotation, the new GE LightSpeed VCT system creates 65 high-resolution anatomical images as thin as a credit card, consequently breaking barriers in speed and accuracy of patient exams.

A Computed Tomography (CT) system, also known as a CAT Scan is a medical diagnostic tool that allows the visualization of internal structures within the human body, aiding doctors in diagnosing disease, viewing internal abnormalities and assessing the extent of trauma damage.

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