DMH News

DMH Installs Revolutionary CT Imaging Technology


Changing How Physicians Diagnose Heart Disease, Stroke and Chest Pain

Decatur Memorial Hospital announced today that it has acquired a new, state-of-the-art, CT imaging system from GE Healthcare.

GE LightSpeed VCT 64 Slice ScannerThe LightSpeed® VCT is the world’s first Volume Computed Tomography (VCT) system. Decatur Memorial Hospital now offers an innovative way for its physicians to obtain the information they need to diagnose disease and life-threatening illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, stroke and chest pain.

Decatur Memorial Hospital’s physicians are now able to capture images of a beating heart in five heartbeats, an organ in one second, and perform whole body trauma in ten seconds, more than twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners. This speed is especially helpful in shortening breath holds for geriatric patients, patients who are on ventilators and pediatric patients.

"Our new Volume CT system allows our physicians to perform new and enhanced procedures and obtain the information they need to diagnosis patients who are suffering from chest pain or stroke," said Jon Locke, M.D., medical director, DMH Diagnostic Radiology. "Volume CT is patient friendly. Fast scans can help reduce patient stress and anxiety, and some of the volume CT procedures can be done in only one simple exam."

Decatur Memorial Hospital can immediately offer the following innovative procedures to be performed on their new LightSpeed VCT:
- 5-Beat Cardiac™ - The physician’s at Decatur Memorial Hospital can capture images of the whole heart and coronary arteries in just five heartbeats – providing clearer images of cardiovascular anatomy and a shorter breath hold for sick and elderly patients.
- Triple RuleOut™ - Three primary causes of mortality in patients with chest pain are aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism and coronary artery disease. The physician’s at Decatur Memorial Hospital now have a tool to help them rule out (or in) these three individual causes of patient’s chest pain through a single quick scan.
- Stroke Work-Up - Once a stroke occurs, it is commonly believed that treatment must be delivered within an hour or less to ensure the best outcome for the patient. The LightSpeed VCT offers Decatur Memorial Hospital the speed and resolution required for rapid imaging of blood vessels in the brain. This enables physicians to make a quick diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment while reducing the number of exams a patient may need to undergo.

In a single rotation, the LightSpeed VCT creates 64 high-resolution anatomical images as thin as a credit card. These images are combined to form a three-dimensional view of the patient’s anatomy for the physicians at Decatur Memorial Hospital to analyze. From these images, physicians can view such things as blockages in the coronary arteries, as well as the motion and pumping action of a patient’s heart.

"We’re breaking barriers in speed and accuracy of patient exams and are now able to offer new and enhanced diagnostic procedures thanks to our new LightSpeed VCT," Dr. Locke said. "The technology is greatly benefiting both the physicians and patients of Decatur and the surrounding area. We’re excited to be the 65 hospital to offer this medical technology in America."