Spokane, WA April 21, 2014 – With the installation of two new, technologically advanced Toshiba Prime CT scanners, Inland Imaging is now able to deliver high-resolution medical images while reducing patients’ exposure to radiation — in some cases by as much as two-thirds. Both of the scanners integrate industry-leading software that automatically reduces the radiation dose to a patient’s specific needs and minimizes scanner noise, all while increasing image quality.
Lowering each patient’s exposure to radiation has been a long-term goal for the radiologists and technologists at Inland Imaging who have worked with their existing systems to manually lower exposures according to the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle, while still generating diagnostically useful imaging. “In the past, to lower the radiation dose during a CT scan, you had to sacrifice some of the image quality,” said Angela Steinbach, manager of CT services at Inland Imaging. “But with this advanced technology, there’s no trade-off. You can do a low-dose scan and still get a high-quality image.”
Last September, Inland Imaging and its partners were awarded the 2013 Providence Health Care Quality Innovators Award for their efforts to reduce radiation doses. As part of this ongoing dose-reduction initiative, Steinbach said Inland Imaging expects to eventually replace all of its CT scanners with the more advanced equipment and technology.
According to Yasuo Nobuta, General Manager, CT Systems Division, Toshiba Medical Systems, “The balance of image quality and radiation dose is the fundamental challenge for physicians in performing routine clinical examinations while adhering to the ALARA principle. With the integration of AIDR (adaptive iterative dose reduction) 3D into exposure controls, the radiation exposure is automatically reduced before the scan, ensuring the lowest dose is given for the diagnostic task at hand, no matter what the size or shape of the patient.”
“Since Inland Imaging began using the new technology, there has already been a significant reduction in radiation dose,” Steinbach said. “As a standard, we’ve seen a 30-50% reduction; and in some cases, as
much as 70% from previous scans done several years ago.”
The new Wide Bore CT scanners also improve patient comfort. Wider openings accommodate both larger-sized and claustrophobic patients. One of the CT tables can serve patients up to 450 pounds, and the other can scan patients who weigh up to 660 pounds. The tables are positioned lower to the floor, making it easier for patients to get on and off.
“This is the first 660-lb CT table in the Spokane area,” Steinbach said. “There’s an entire sub-set of patients who have had no alternative. With the larger tables and wide-bore design, we can provide CT services to patients of all shapes and sizes.”
Additionally, the new CT scanners feature rapid scanning and image reconstruction. Scans often require as little as 10 seconds. Radiologists can interpret the images faster, and patients and their physicians receive their imaging results more quickly.
The two new scanners are in operation at Inland Imaging’s Holy Family Center. A third low-dose CT scanner will also be installed at Inland Imaging’s new Spokane Valley location at the Providence Medical Park, which opens the end of April.