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Johns Hopkins Installs First 320-Slice CT Scanner In North America

by Medindia Content Team on November 27, 2007 at 12:32 PM
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Johns Hopkins Installs First 320-Slice CT Scanner In North America

The first 320-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner in North America, the most powerful X-ray imaging machine in its class, has been installed and is in operation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The 2-metric-ton (4400-pound) device can measure subtle changes in blood flow or minute blockages forming in blood vessels no bigger than the average width of a toothpick (1.5 millimeters) in the heart and brain. It is one of two devices in the United States scheduled to become operational this year, the other being located in Boston.

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The scanning machine, an Aquilion 320, has more than five times greater detector coverage than its commonly used predecessor, the 64-CT. The big advantage over other imaging technologies, researchers say, is that the 320-CT can, in 1 second or less, image "slices" as big as 16 centimeters (6.3 inches), which is wide enough to capture most of the body's organs with one single rotation of its central, X-ray emitting gantry.

The 64-CT, however, only has the capacity to image 3.2 centimeters (1.3 inches) at a time, and it takes longer to perform, up to 10 seconds.

The new scanner, which cost more than a $1 million, is available immediately for general clinical use, having last month received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The technology was approved after initial testing at Hopkins of a similar, but slightly less-powerful 256-CT scanner, conducted earlier this year.

The 256-CT also performed whole-organ imaging, with single scans capturing up to 12.8 centimeters (5 inches). Both devices are manufactured by Toshiba of Japan.

Source: John Hopkins
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