Revolution CT Cardiac Imaging – Furthering our course towards better patient care. “One-beat, low dose, high definition, motion-free, at any heart rate.” GE Healthcare, 2014
10th Aug 2018
The latest stage in Blackrock Clinic’s investment in Radiology imaging went live in March this year, with the installation of an additional high performance CT scanner. The REVOLUTION CT from GE Healthcare is a state of the art CT scanner in both technology and design. The system has the ability through “smart dose technologies” to reduce patient exposure by up to 82%, yet at the same time acquire high quality images. This very much furthers our objectives of lowering radiation doses and improving image quality.
Housed within a purpose build radiology area, the CT Cardiac scanner facilitates many divisions of our healthcare community:
- We have a growing team of leading experts in preventive cardiology in recognition of the fact that early diagnosis and intervention leads to better patient outcomes. Diagnostic tools such as the Revolution CT scanner represent a major evolution within this arena of medicine. These ground breaking specialists have interests in managing diseases of the heart, including cardiomyopathies and coronary artery disease (CAD). The new equipment better enables them to risk evaluate patients both with pre dispositions and / or early stage conditions which may not yet have developed symptoms.
- GPs are also seeing the benefit when discussing with a patient how best to reduce the risk of heart attack. The detailed images provide up-to-date best evidence in a clearly understandable format, helping GPs and their patients to make the right decisions regarding a host of preventive strategies, and can serve as a useful adjunct to the decision making related to statin therapy.
CT Coronary Angiography (The scan)
There are two parts to a CT Cardiac scan:
- Calcium Score – This scan can detect and measure very small deposits of calcium (plaque) in the coronary arteries. The scoring system allows clinicians to better risk stratify their patients’ likelihood of cardiovascular events, including heart attack.
- Cardiac Angiogram – An intravenous contrast (dye) is injected to show a detailed image of the heart and the coronary arteries. This enables non-invasive assessment of the heart arteries without the potential risks of invasive angiography.
These two scans are available via referral from GPs and consultants, and are reported upon by our own consultant cardiologists. Protocolling will take place in house to ensure that the most appropriate scan is performed. Medical practitioners can download the referral documents form Blackrock Clinic’s web site “Healthcare Professionals” section. (Please see URL address at end of article).
Whilst our technicians and consultants benefit from enhanced image quality across a large 160mm coverage, the patient experience is an equally important component in our planning. To this end, our Revolution CT provides:
- Noise reduction. An audible noise reduction of more than 50%, even at very low signal levels.
- Split second scanning. The platform is designed to enable performance at rotation speeds of up to 300mm/sec, shortening scan lengths.
- Comfort. An 80cm wide bore to deliver easy access and a more comfortable environment.
- Safety. Radiation dose reduction of up to 82%.
“Whole Heart in a Single Beat”
The makers, GE Centricity, state that the Revolution CT can “capture the whole heart in a single beat, in high definition”. Coupled with the fact that comprehensive cardiac assessment can now be achieved with or without the use of beta blockers, this adds the considerable advantage of speed to the service.
2017 already showed us a 46% increase in demand for CT Cardiac. We are now able to leverage the quicker turn around and less invasive requirement of the new scanner to meet current and future demands for capacity, thus future proofing the service.