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Months before it will find a permanent home in the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, BWH installed Toshiba’s AquilionONE, which, at 320 slices, is the most powerful computed tomography scanner in its class. On Nov. 7, BWH radiologists performed the first clinical cardiac CT in the United States with this new scanner—one of only two in operation in the nation.
“This scanner produces the best cardiac and brain perfusion scans I have ever seen,” said Steven Seltzer, MD, chair of Radiology at BWH. “Toshiba really pushed the engineering envelope, and what they’ve come up with is tremendous.”
BWH took delivery of the AquilionONE weeks before it was introduced to the world at the annual conference for the Radiology Society of North America in Chicago. Frank J. Rybicki, MD, PhD, director of Cardiac CT, was one of three physicians to lead the global launch in Chicago.
The 4,400-pound device is now housed in Nuclear Medicine on L1 where coronary CTA is routinely performed with this system. The AquilionONE measures subtle changes in blood flow or minute coronary blockages no larger than the width of a small toothpick. At 320 slices, it has five times greater detector coverage than 64-slice CT scanners.
A significant advantage over other imaging technologies is that the 320-CT can image a 16 cm (or 6.3 inches) volume in less than one second. This is wide enough to capture most of the body’s organs, including the heart, with one rotation of its central, X-ray emitting gantry. Comparatively, a 64-slice CT scanner images 1.3 inches at a time, leading to longer scan times.
According to Rybicki, AquilionONE’s most significant benefit to patients is that it reduces exposure to radiation and contrast doses. “The image quality is stunning, but for me, the best part is the lower patient irradiation to levels below diagnostic coronary catheterization, and that’s better for our patients,” he said.
BWH’s AquilionONE has become the hospital’s main cardiac CT scanner in its first few months of operation with scheduling through Percipio.