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CT SERVICES - CT (Computer Tomography) is a specialized type of x-ray that was first introduced in 1975. During a CT scan, the part of the body being evaluated is imaged in thin sections, or slices, like a loaf of bread. Over the past thirty years, there have been dramatic advances in CT technology. CT scans are now very fast, due to the introduction of spiral CT in 1991. The patient moves continuously through the scanner while the x-ray tube makes rapid 360-degree rotations around the patient. Sophisticated electronic devices know as detectors are lined up in rows inside the scanner. The detectors analyze the x-rays as they pass through the patient. Information from the detectors is used to create the images.

The number of rows of detectors in a CT scanner coupled with how fast it rotates, determine the system’s speed. Until recently, the fastest CT scanners were called 64-slice scanners because they contained 64 rows of detectors. Seimens introduced a revolutionary CT scanner in the fall of 2006. This scanner contains two x-ray tubes, and a total of 128 detector rows. This system is known as the Seimens Definition and is the most advanced CT scanner in clinical use in the world. Wayne Radiologists purchased and installed a Seimens Definition in January of 2007. This was the first Definition installed in North Carolina and the 14th worldwide.

Our new CT scanner has enhanced our ability to perform the traditional CT studies. We can perform all of the studies faster. We can make better use of the contrast that is injected intravenously to light up the solid organs and blood vessels. We can use thinner slices (images) to evaluate the vascular system with studies known as CT angiograms. We have performed angiograms of the carotid, renal, and lower extremity arteries for a number of years. All of these studies are sharper and clearer with our new Definition.

The Definition allows us to do something new, something very exciting that we could not do with our previous CT unit. Because the Definition is so fast, we can use it to perform angiograms of the heart’s small blood vessels (the coronary arteries). With these angiograms, we can determine whether or not there are any blockages in these important arteries. Blockages of these coronary arteries can lead to heart attacks. With our Definition, we can image the heart and its vessels in about 8-10 seconds. In this short period of time, 2500-3000 images are created. These are used by the radiologists to build 3D models of the heart and its arteries. These 3D images are known as CT angiograms of the coronary arteries. Please see the section on CT of the Heart for more details.

Experienced technologists and well-trained radiologists are required to get the most out of any CT scanner, especially a sophisticated CT scanner like the Definition. Our technologists have many combined years of experience in CT. Our four CT techs are also highly motivated. All of them received additional training in order to operate the Definition. Our friendly and efficient technologists can usually make your CT scan a quick and pleasant experience. Our six board-certified radiologists all have extensive training and experience in CT. CT is an advanced imaging technology and many factors contribute to high-quality images. The radiologists know what these factors are and how to optimally adjust them. The radiologists also understand how to keep the radiation dose to the patient as low as reasonably possible. And finally, our radiologists have interpreted thousands of CT scans. The radiologists carefully review all of the images and all of the anatomic structures in order to make accurate diagnoses. The combination of our technology and personnel ensure that you will receive a state-of-the-art CT evaluation at Wayne Radiologists.

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