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CT Scanning Technology A First In NZ

December 26, 2006

Christchurch Dual Source CT Scanning Technology A First In New Zealand

Christchurch Radiology Group (CRG) has purchased New Zealand’s first Dual Source CT scanner. The machine will be operational in February and provide a new level of clinical diagnosis, particularly for heart patients.

CRG Managing Director, Dr. Tony Young, says the Siemens Definition Dual Source scanner eliminates the need for beta blockers. It also lowers the radiation dose for patients and, due to its speed, provides a comprehensive diagnostic tool for acute care patients.

“This level of CT technology has not been seen in New Zealand before. It is cutting edge and delivers a range of diagnostic solutions. Many people who are currently excluded from having a CT scan will benefit from more accurate, less invasive, faster scans.

“The machine will make a big impact in cardiovascular diagnosis, where CT scanning is becoming increasingly prominent. The Siemens Definition scanner will let us acquire more accurate images without the need to administer beta blockers, and this is a real breakthrough.

“With single source technology, beta blockers are used to slow the heart of cardiac patient. An image is acquired via multi-segment reconstruction software. Because the heart never returns to the exact same position there are always small imperfections in image quality. Also, Beta blockers cannot be used on some patients, like asthmatics for example. Dual source scanning overcomes this problem.

“With the Siemens Definition Dual Source scanner, cardiac images are acquired in single heartbeat, without the need to administer beta blockers. The technology provides accurate non-invasive imaging and measurement of coronary artery lesions.

“Dual Source scanning technology will also allow us to scan arrhythmic patients and provide easier examination of obese and uncooperative patients, those short of breath or with high heart rates, quickly and without restriction.

Siemens Medical NZ General Manager Andrew Wickers says the SOMATOM Definition CT is the world's first Dual Source CT scanner.

“The idea behind Dual Source CT is simple; it uses two X-ray sources and two detectors at the same time. This means you get double temporal resolution, double speed, and twice the power, while lowering the radiation dose to the patient. The radiation dose from the Definition scanner is around 50% lower at typical heart rates compared with today’s most dose-efficient, single source CT scanners.

“It provides images of exceptional quality and is an amazing tool to explore new clinical opportunities.”

Preparation for installation has begun at CRG’s St Georges Radiology clinic in Merivale. Installation is expected to be completed by the 21st of January 2007 with staff training commencing following day. Dr. Young says the Definition will run through a series of installation tests and be publicly operational by March 2007.

ENDS

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