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50% Radiation Dose Reduction: NorthStar Health System Installs a New GE VCT Machine

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Digital radiography newsNorthStar Health System, in Iron River, MI, has recently installed a new VCT 64 slice CT system from GE Healthcare. Offering new services that were not available with the prior CT scanner, the new machine will be increasing service to patients due to its new VCT 64-slice CT unit. It is the only one available in Iron, Dickinson, Gogebic and Baraga County regions.

Eric Beauchamp, diagnostic services manager at NorthStar, said “The addition of the GE VCT 64-slice CT scanner is greater than just replacing our current, 16-slice scanner,” adding “With the advances in scanner capabilities, we will be able to offer services that were not available with the prior CT scanner.” The new GE VCT will help doctors in two specialties that NorthStar System is concentrating on; cardiology and orthopedics.

The new unit offers highly detailed 3D images which aid orthopedic surgeons in determining the severity of an injury and designing suitable surgical plan. In cardiology, the GE VCT is capable of monitoring a patient’s heart and scanning its movement at times of minimum activity. Images generated by the CT machine help cardiologists in diagnosing plaques, which can cause coronary artery disease. A significant feature in the GE VCT is its ability to reduce radiation doses used for imaging by up to 50%.

Doctors at NorthStar Health System were glad to have the new machine in the facility. Dr. Barbara Washington, NHS board-certified cardiologist, said  “With the ability to obtain coronary calcium scoring, patients who are concerned about risk for coronary atherosclerosis will have a more accurate assessment of risk for heart attack above the usual standard risk factors,” She added “This is a painless test that has very low radiation exposure.”

Dr. Cesar Cube, NHS board-certified radiologist, said “The new 64-slice CT scanner will be able to perform a whole body trauma scan in seconds, and evaluate for coronary artery disease, promote clear 3D images, and impact cancer diagnosis and treatment, all with reduced radiation dose.”


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