by Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor
North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York announced on Monday that it has installed Toshiba's 640-slice CT scanner, making the hospital the first in the Northeast to offer patients what's considered the most advanced CT scanning technology available today to help diagnose heart disease and a patient's risk for heart attack.
Toshiba's Aquilion One Vision 640-slice CT scanner, which has the advantage of a gantry rotation time of 275 milliseconds, automated exposure control, a larger X-ray power generator and 320 detector rows, gives it the title of 640-slice scanner.
"The 640-slice CT's high speed gives us the ability to capture a complete high-resolution image of the heart muscle in less than one-third of a second," said Dr. Jesse Chusid, a cardiothoracic radiologist and chief of imaging informatics at NSUH, in a statement. "In the past, cardiac scans required 10 phases of imaging to obtain an entire picture of a beating heart, compensating for movement. This new scanner allows us to evaluate the coronary arteries while delivering a lower dose of radiation to enhance patient safety."
Coronary CT angiography (CCTA), a procedure known to be clinically effective, is sometimes controversial for fear of exposing patients to cancer risk down the road because of high radiation dose. However, a recent study
found that radiation exposure was reduced by as much as 95 percent with the Aquilion One Vision 640-slice CT scanner compared to other CT scanners, which are normally 64-row detector scanners. Still, more studies will need to be conducted before the system becomes more widespread, according to Toshiba.
The new CT scanner, which costs between $2.5 and 2.8 million, is one of only three in the U.S. — and the only one in the Northeast. The other two sites are the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and West Virginia University. It's also in use worldwide at Fujita Health University in Japan; Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands; Monash Medical Centre Clayton, Southern Health in Australia; Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Hong Kong; and Iwate Medical University in Japan.
Aquilion One Vision Edition was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2012.