New CT Machine Enables Radiology Service to Provide Better Care

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A new computed tomography scanner in the Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is enabling clinicians to provide better care to animals and support to other services in the teaching hospital.

“The implications for using CT are very widespread, so it does get a lot of use,” said Dr. Rachel Moon, an assistant clinical professor in the Radiology Service. “While CT is becoming more readily available in the private sector, but not machines of this caliber.”

The machine is a GE Lightspeed VCT 64-Slice model. It has the ability to take up to 64 slices, or graphical images, of a patient in one scan. With the machine, clinicians can cover up to 40 mm of a patient at .625 mm slices, or small images, which are then compiled together to form a single image. The ability to create such tiny images allows radiologists to create 3D models of the patient with extreme accuracy.

One of the advantages of the new machine is speed. Also, patients can be imaged either awake or under sedation, and a shorter scan time means that clinicians have more time to plan treatments and care for patients rather than waiting for data.

“This machine has really helped us with angiographic studies,” Dr. Moon said. “When we inject the contrast into the venous system, it travels very quickly, and with the speed of the machine, we can get a lot more information from the studies than we could before.”

Because the CT scanner allows for such small, precise imaging, the Radiology Service has also improved its ability to create 3D models taken from 3D images, which allow clinicians to study a physical model when planning treatment for patients.

The new machine is also proving to be effective at helping to identify cancer and tumors more readily, as well as planning radiation therapy. This improved ability to plan has been of benefit to the Oncology Service, allowing clinicians to pinpoint the exact location of a tumor, and preventing damage to surrounding tissue during radiation treatment.

To view a video interview with Dr. Moon about the new CT Machine, click here.

To learn more about the Radiology Service, visit their webpage here.