64-slice CT survey: Early adopters offer advice

April 2, 2006

In early 2006, Diagnostic Imaging interviewed a range of facilities that have installed 64-slice CT systems. Facilities were asked the same set of questions, including their reasons for acquiring the system and plans for offering new clinical services. They were also asked to offer advice for a good friend who was considering 64-slice acquisition.

In early 2006, Diagnostic Imaging interviewed a range of facilities that have installed 64-slice CT systems. Facilities were asked the same set of questions, including their reasons for acquiring the system and plans for offering new clinical services. They were also asked to offer advice for a good friend who was considering 64-slice acquisition.

1. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA

Description: Teaching hospital with high volume of demanding surgeries that require cardiac assessment, such as multi-organ transplant cases

Installed: Three GE Lightspeed VCT 64-slice scanners

Replaced: Single-slice, four-slice, and eight-slice CT systems

Reason: Need to radically increase capacity due to CT backlog, provide new cardiac applications, and improve center's technological image

Interviewee: Dr. William Shuman, director of radiology

Advice for a friend: Invest in a 64-slice system. They pay for themselves.

2. Shands Healthcare (University of Florida), Gainesville, FL

Description: Large teaching hospital specializing in tertiary care of critically ill patients, with Level 1 trauma center

Installed: Toshiba 64-slice Aquilion

Replaced: Single-slice CT system

Reason: Certain cardiac applications, greater efficiency, rapidity in trauma cases

Interviewee: Dr. Anthony Mancuso, chair, radiology

Advice for a friend: Look long and hard at the IT issues and have a good PACS infrastructure. Don't get vendor-specific workstations.

3. Metroplex Hospital, Killeen, TX

Description: Small hospital serving community surrounding army base, busy cardiology practice

Installed: Toshiba 64-slice Aquilion

Replaced: Single-slice system

Reason: New cardiac CT applications, faster imaging for trauma patients

Interviewee: Dr. Frederick Barnett, radiologist

Advice for a friend: Figure out demand for CT angiography in your community. If cardiac CT is not the biggest part of what you do, consider buying a 16-slice or eight-slice system.

4. Atlantic Medical Imaging, Galloway, NJ

Description: Outpatient imaging center serving broad range of patients, including pediatrics

Installed: GE LightSpeed VCT 64-slice

Replaced: Added to existing base

Reason: Increase capacity, better performance in cardiac applications

Interviewee: Dr. David Dowe, medical director

Advice for a friend: Get a machine with the highest mA capability.

5. Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY

Description: Small facility focusing on general radiology

Installed: Siemens Sensation 64

Replaced: Single-slice CT

Reason: Desire to be a step ahead technologically

Interviewee: Danny Zelco, lead technologist

Advice for a friend: Consider all the vendors. Ensure technical and service support, as well as access to supply warehouses in your area.

6. Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC

Description: Large, busy trauma center, with large pediatric and transplant programs

System: Siemens Sensation 64

Replaced: Four-slice system

Reason: Ability to do full-body scanning in trauma care, cardiac applications, and CT colonography

Interviewee: Dr. Chris Ullrich, medical director of radiology

Advice for a friend: Determine your mission-you may be able to meet your needs without buying a 64-slice machine.

7. University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Description: Teaching hospital

Installed: Philips Brilliance CT (64-slice)

Replaced: Complemented existing base

Reason: Facility is regularly and frequently upgrading CT equipment

Interviewee: Dr. Michael Vannier, professor of radiology

Advice for a friend: Some people buy 64-slice systems and use them with protocols and techniques that better fit their predecessors. Rewrite image protocols and set expectations high-these systems are capable of producing outstanding results.

8. Methodist Hospital, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Description: Teaching hospital

Installed: Philips Brilliance CT (64-slice)

Reason: Upgrade on a 40-slice system

Interviewee: Dr. Jonas Rydberg, associate professor of radiology

Advice for a friend: Develop good image handling algorithms, so you are not showered by all the thin slices.