A new cutting edge CT scanner will help diagnose heart issues more quickly and accurately for patients across Teesside.
The low-dose scanner at the University Hospital of North Tees forms part of a new rapid-access chest pain clinic.
The Siemens Somatom Drive will help with the early diagnosis of many cardiac diseases, as well as a range of other health issues including identifying blood clots (pulmonary embolism).
Nic Child, consultant cardiologist at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Cardiac CT has become vital to rapid and accurate diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
“The addition of a high quality dual source CT scanner to the trust will allow patients with cardiac chest pain to be seen, scanned and commenced on treatment in a single ‘one-stop’ clinic.
“This will put the cardiology team at the forefront of delivering rapid, safe, high quality care to our cardiac patients.”
The scanner dual source with two x-ray tubes, helping produce high resolution images very quickly.
Gail Griffiths, radiology operations manager, added: “This allows us to image patients who find it difficult to hold their breath or remain still.
“It also analyses heart rates and enables us to scan the heart in a single heart beat for accurate diagnosis of coronary heart disease and scan whole aortas in two seconds. This is excellent for pre-surgery planning.”
Other applications include the ability to virtually remove metalwork to diagnose bony erosions or fractures, which previously would not be visible with conventional CT.
It also scans at extremely low doses while still maintaining image quality.
The wide scanning bore is ideal for bariatric patients and those who suffer from claustrophobia.