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Published on April 13, 2009

Palos Community Hospital First in Southwest Suburbs to Offer Dual Source CT

With the goal of providing the most comprehensive cardiovascular services available, Palos Community Hospital is the first of its kind in the South suburbs and one of only five in the entire Chicagoland area to introduce the latest technology in three-dimensional digital imaging - Dual Source Computed Tomography.

Dual Source CT uses two X-ray tubes with dual detectors. This dual source technology makes the scanning process not only twice as fast as 64-slice models, but it also provides twice the power and double the image quality with half the radiation dose. As a result, dual source CT can scan a beating heart with a rate as high as 120 beats per minute without medication, so what used to take at least an hour can now be done in roughly 15 minutes or less.

"The Dual Source CT provides excellent resolution and improved accuracy in a fraction of the time," says Marlon Everett, M.D., a Palos Heights cardiologist. "Radiation exposure is reduced and patient comfort is significantly improved. We now have one of the best CT scanners available, and that's what makes the difference."

Computed tomography (CT) provides a detailed 3-D image of the inside of an anatomical structure, where disease, complications and blockages can be accurately detected. CT is considered the gold standard of radiology, and it is essential in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The technology also is used to detect vascular problems, acute and chronic lung changes, strokes and brain aneurysms, kidney stones, organ damage, and complex bone fractures.

The advantages of Dual Source CT are numerous. Reduced testing time not only improves the patient experience, but it offers near-immediate diagnosis for those who are in critical condition. Further, since beta blockers typically aren't necessary to slow the heart as with conventional CT technology, a patient requires no pre- or post-scan monitoring. And because of higher resolution capabilities, there's greater detection and diagnosis accuracy.

To help further enhance PCH's cardiovascular offerings, we also have introduced three additional technologies: electrophysiology (EP), cardiac ablation and digital archiving. Our new EP and ablation equipment can more accurately detect, pinpoint and treat short circuits, or arrhythmias, in the electrical pathways of the heart. And our new Picture Archiving Communication System enables us to archive such streaming video files as those produced by echocardiograms and cardiac catheterizations, which will help speed the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease by facilitating communication among physicians, nurses and other hospital staff.

"The new technology being implemented here represents a complete continuum of cardiac care," says Jill Beechler, assistant vice president of Cardiovascular Services. "With the changes that have taken place during the past four years, most people will be able to get their complete cardiac care, from diagnosis through treatment and rehabilitation, right here in their own community, at Palos Community Hospital."

View additional information on our Radiology Services or our Cardiology Department.