DMH News

New PET/CT Scanner at Decatur Memorial Hospital Helps Doctors


April 8, 2010...Decatur Memorial Hospital recently installed an advanced PET/CT scanner that can transform the way doctors diagnose and treat cancer, neurological disorders and heart disease.

The newly installed unit is the first installed in Illinois and among the first six in the country and the first in a community hospital setting. The Discovery PET/CT 690 scanner from GE Healthcare helps doctors see precisely where disease is located, identify its nature, plan and monitor treatment by interpreting images taken in a single exam which generally takes less than half an hour.

Information from the exam helps doctors diagnose disease accurately and confidently, often avoiding the need to put patients through invasive procedures. The scanner combines two powerful technologies:

The LightSpeed VCT XT 64 Slice Computed tomography (CT) scanner, which takes clear pictures that precisely show the patient’s anatomy; form.

Positron emission tomography (PET), which takes pictures that tell doctors about the metabolic activity of tissue; function.

“This new PET/CT technology provides several innovative enhancements that offer doctors the ability to see more so that we can compare change and monitor progression of diseases more precisely,” said Jon Locke, M.D., medical director, Decatur Memorial Hospital G. Richard Locke, M.D. Diagnostic Imaging Center.

The Decatur Memorial Hospital Discovery PET/CT 690 scanner includes features designed to enhance image quality and performance for a better physician and patient experience. This platform gives doctors more power and capability to manage disease:

  • The Discovery 690 incorporates the next generation in high-definition reconstruction, Vue Point FX intelligent Reconstruction, which means improved disease detectability, potentially lower dose requirements and faster exams for patients.
  • It offers Motion MatchTM motion management technology, which helps capture critical details in areas subject to motion, such as the heart and lungs, to help doctors diagnose and stage diseases with accuracy, plan with precision and monitor with confidence.
  • A large 70cm bore offers patients a comfortable scanning experience.

“This technology helps us make better decisions in treating our patients,” Dr. Locke said. “It takes DMH to a higher level of care for heart disease, cancer and a host of serious nervous system conditions. We are excited to put this technology to work for the residents of Decatur and our surrounding communities.”