CHKD offers lower-dose CT scanner

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters installed a new CT scanner that creates  high-resolution images at unprecedented speeds and uses just a fraction of the radiation required by scanners available in most settings, the hospital said in a news release.

The Siemens dual-source Somatom Definition Flash system is capable of producing up to 256 slices.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this lower-dose, safer CT option to the region’s children," said Dr. David Kushner, medical director of radiology and radiation safety officer.

CT stands for computerized tomography, a method of creating detailed cross-sectional images of the body using X-rays. CT scans are used to diagnose a variety of conditions, especially for acute trauma, complex lung and cardiac imaging, acute onset of neurological symptoms and images of bony structures.

The new scanner finishes a chest CT in about a quarter of a second.

“We don't even have to ask children to hold their breath for that exam anymore,” radiology supervisor Becky Ward said. “We expect that the speed of this scanner will reduce the need for sedation with CT scans.”

The equipment, which cost more than $1 million, can perform a spiral heart scan with less than 1 millisievert (mSv) of radiation as two dual-source X-ray tubes revolve simulateously around the child's body. With other scanners, radiation ranges from 8 mSv to 40 mSv, the hospital said. Operators can also fine-tune radiation dosages for each patient, the hospital said.

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