In just a few short months, physicians have recognized that the first and only 16-slice CT scanner commercially available and installed as a released product in U.S. facilities is versatile, easy to use and enhances both workflow and patient care. Siemens Medical Solutions (Iselin, N.J.) Sensation 16 has a wide range of applications in cardiovascular imaging, CT angiography and neuroradiology.

Physicians at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.) began using the Sensation 16 scanner in July 2002. And they have found that Sensation 16 also works exceptionally well for a wide variety of body CT scans. According to Julia Fielding, associate professor of radiology and chief of abdominal imaging at the University of North Carolina, one reason Sensation 16 is well suited for body CT is its speed. “Speed is an important factor for trauma patients and for patients who are very sick and on a ventilator.” Sensation 16 allows for four-times more speed, real-time reconstruction and higher image resolution than standard 4-slice CT scanners. Fielding notes, “It takes us about 6 seconds to do a CT of the entire abdomen and pelvis.”

Body CT applications at the University of North Carolina include trauma cases, tumor reconstruction and staging, CT angiography, musculoskeletal issues and pre-surgical planning. Image quality is key to every one of these applications, and with Sensation 16, image quality comes fairly close to virtual dissection. Fielding says, “We can do very high-quality muscular-skeletal work with Sensation 16. With 3D post-processing and reconstruction we can virtually disarticulate the bones and look inside the patient.” If a patient had loose fragments in a joint following a trauma, a radiologist can use Sensation 16 to pinpoint the fragments.

Another application is pre-surgical planning. A 16-slice scan can be used to help the surgeon find the best pathway during a liver transplant, for example. “It’s actually roadmapping for the surgeon,” says Fielding.

Please refer to the December 2002 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis