Columbia VA Health Care System’s Radiology Department is stepping into the future with the installation of its new GE Revolution Apex computed tomography (CT) scanning machine.

The new machine, replacing a model in commission since 2009, became operational following a ribbon cutting ceremony August 23 and will provide several benefits to both practitioner and patient.

“The bore size for the new machine is 80 centimeters, which is 10 centimeters larger than the previous machine’s, and will accommodate larger patients with increased girth,” said Brittany Mahomes, the supervisory CT/diagnostic radiologic technologist. “Patients with claustrophobic tendencies may also benefit from the larger opening, which will ease anxiety during the exam.”

Along with the larger bore size, the new CT machine also boasts a scanner four-times larger than the scanner on its predecessor.

“The current scanner has a 16-centimeter detector, compared to the previous scanner’s four-centimeter detector,” Mahomes said. “The wider scanning area will allow scanning of any organ in one rotation.”

Lower doses of radiation

With the increased size of the scanner, patients will also have the benefit of receiving lower doses of radiation due to the decreased amount of time they will spend getting their scans.

Along with quicker scanning times and a larger bore opening, Mahomes says the new CT machine is also quieter, which will help with patient discomfort and anxiety.

The scanner is a 256-detector system that utilizes a 160-millimeter detector configuration, which Mahomes said allows the machine to take an image in 512 slices, and stitch the images together using an advanced algorithm. The final product will be more enhanced images that are smoother and sharper in appearance.

Eliminates contrast studies for some exams

“We will get more clear and detailed images,” she added. “It will pick up on more sensitive lesions of small pathology, allowing us to see more clearly. It also contains some post processing software that will eliminate the need to perform contrast studies for some exams because the scanner can pick up on those sensitivities without the IV contrast.”

Columbia VA is currently the only hospital in the state of South Carolina with this new piece of medical technology.

By Wyatt L. Anthony is a U.S. Navy Veteran and public affairs specialist for VHA

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Published on Sep. 12, 2021

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