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Hospital acquiring a 64-slice PET-CT scanner

New Britain [June 26 2008] - By October, The Hospital of Central Connecticut expects to start using a new $3.8 million 64-slice PET-CT scanner at its New Britain General campus, providing patients with the latest innovative imaging technology.

The hospital recently received approval from the State Office of Health Care Access to purchase the device, which combines two state-of-the-art technologies into one machine. Since 2006, the hospital has relied on a mobile PET-CT scanner which arrived at its New Britain General campus weekly. The new scanner is far more advanced, and will make the tests more quickly and readily available to patients.

“With our own PET scanner, we will provide more access for our patients, in addition to continued availability of CT scanning. This advanced combined scanner will add significantly to our imaging technology capabilities toward diagnosing and staging different conditions and diseases,” says Sidney Ulreich, M.D., chief of Radiology.

The high-speed PET-CT scanner produces images with precise anatomic detail, providing quick results and shorter testing time for patients. It’s used to identify varied diseases and conditions, develop treatment plans and gauge treatment progress.

Specifically, the PET scanner detects metabolic (chemical) changes of cells in a particular area of the body or an organ, and is often used for cancer studies. The 64-slice CT scanner produces images which can be manipulated into different views (3-D) of body structures, including bone and soft tissue, in just seconds. The PET and CT scan functions may be used independently or combined.

PET-CT applications at The Hospital of Central Connecticut include studies related to coronary artery disease, and cancer treatment planning using the hospital’s new Novalis® radiosurgery system, also expected to begin use in October.

“The 64-slice PET-CT will allow us to treat lung cancers more effectively,” says Neal Goldberg, M.D., chief of Radiation Oncology. Used in combination with a new work station, the PET-CT will correlate the Novalis beam to the tumor without affecting the surrounding lung tissue as the patient breathes. “It allows us to treat a moving target, which we cold not do before.” More precision, says Goldberg, also translates to quicker treatment five days using Novalis vs. seven weeks of once weekly radiation therapy for small lung cancers.

The system is also a major step forward for the hospital in diagnosing heart disease, adds Milton Sands, M.D., chief of Cardiology. “The cardiac CT will aid in imaging the heart and coronary arteries and help in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease and other heart abnormalities. It will be useful in people with chest pain and major risk factors for coronary artery disease, namely hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, a strong family history of heart disease, and smoking.”

In the PET-CT scanner’s first year of use, the hospital anticipates performing 708 PET/CT scans and 25,117 CT scans.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, ext. 6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779