News | September 27, 2006

MUSC Launches Dual Source Heart CT Scanner

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) announced that it has installed a dual source heart CT scanner and will begin operating it on October 9, as it expands its capabilities to perform noninvasive cardiac procedures faster and at less cost.
The dual source CT Somatom Definition by Siemens Medical reduces radiation by 50 percent compared to the 64-slice CT, in most cases will eliminate the need for beta blockers. MUSC made the $2.2-million investment and expects to see its return on investment by more quickly diagnosing of cardiac disease and incurring less cost.
"The schedule for patients seeking to use it already is booked for two weeks into October," said Philip Costello, M.D., chairman of MUSC's department of Radiology. Costello said he expects to scan at least 20 patients a day with the dual source CT.
The technology is especially useful in detecting cardiac illness in women, considering that women show very misleading and subtle signs of heart disease.
"The dual source CT would help us assess a patient for heart disease when an EKG or nuclear test has not revealed any problems," said U. Joseph Schoepf, M.D., director of MUSC's CT research and development. "It's like a fast shutter speed on a camera," Schoepf said. "We're able to double the ability to freeze the image of the entire heart and cut in half the time needed to do it."

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