Computerized Tomography (CT)
The Siemens Perspective 128-slice CT scanner provides the technology to detect disease in its earliest stages. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the anatomical area of interest from several different angles to create cross-sectional images. The computer assembles these images into a 3-D picture. The resulting image resolution is superb; vessels of 2 mm diameter can be assessed. One significant benefit is that the effects of patient respiration and cardiac motion are negated, and scan times are greatly diminished. In most cases, the dose can be decreased by up to 60%.
This new CT technology allows us to perform CT Angiography, the study of the circulatory system vessels in any part of the body. Differentiating the larger vessels provides the clinician with much needed diagnostic information. The working diagnosis for the patient is key for the technologists to determine how they inject the contrast and the direction in which they scan the patient. This approach is non-invasive and a positive diagnostic result may prevent the patient from undergoing invasive procedures.
The use of coronary artery calcium scoring, a dramatic diagnostic screening tool, is a useful first step for a primary care physician to evaluate patients with atypical chest pain, cardiac risk factors, or a family history of heart disease. An abnormal scoring factor resulting from the examination is indicative of the need for a referral for further evaluation.
CTA of the coronary arteries can be the next diagnostic step. In addition to outlining the extent of plaque, the percentage of stenosis is also determined. Due to the clarity produced by the new scanner, patients can often forego the invasive procedure, which previously was commonly used to evaluate the extent of heart disease.
This 128-slice CT scanner is the most technologically advanced machine available today. Visalia Imaging is the first in the area to provide the full realm of this machine's potential for the residents in our community. They are accredited by the ACR for adult and pediatric patients for head/neck, chest, abdomen, and cardiac studies.