The doctors said that the speed of the equipment helped in quickly scanning young children with head injuries, as they could not be sedated

A 256-slice advanced CT (computed tomography) scanner is the latest acquisition of Coimbatore’s healthcare sector, aimed at obtaining images much clearer than the earlier versions – the 128 slice and 64 slice.

P. Thirunavukkarasu and J. Geethanjali, radiologists at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital where the scanner was commissioned on Friday, said scanning could be done in just one heart beat.

In addition to problems in the heart and blood vessels to the lung, the scanner could also identify haemorrhage in the brain.

The competition in the manufacture and procurement of scanners was more or less over in terms of slice (126 or 256). It was now in terms of dual source: two X-ray sources that operated on different energy levels (140 kv and 80 kv), producing equally good images at both levels, the radiologists said.

To a question on radiation hazards, the radiologists said the latest technology had reduced it drastically, even as it brought down the time taken for scanning and improved the quality of images.

“We can see cardiac and lung pathologies with very little radiation dose. At present, the latest scanner reduced exposure up to 60 per cent,” the doctors said.

When pointed out that 40 per cent exposure still remained, Dean of the hospital V. Anil Kumar said a minimum amount of radiation was required to obtain images of absolute clarity and the other desired results. However, he and the other doctors pointed out that more research and efforts might be made by manufacturers into reducing exposure to radiation further.

The doctors said that the speed of the equipment helped in quickly scanning young children with head injuries, as they could not be sedated. Lung diseases patients also would find it difficult to hold their breath for too long while imaging. The new equipment solved this problem.

The radiologists also said that patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass graft could be scanned to assess the condition of the graft.

The scanner was formally commissioned at a function by former Supreme Court judge A.R. Lakshmanan. Mayor S.M. Velusamy, SNR Sons Charitable Trust managing trustee C. Soundararaj; joint managing trustee R. Vijaya Kumhar; and Siemens sales head Dhandapany Raghavan; were present.

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