Radiology at the American University of Beirut Medical Center

November 7, 2003

"During the past year there has been added to this department a powerful and complete Roentgen ray apparatus, consisting of a gas engine, dynamo and storage battery, a 10 inch Apps induction coil, together with tubes, stands and other accessories. For

"During the past year there has been added to this department a powerful and complete Roentgen ray apparatus, consisting of a gas engine, dynamo and storage battery, a 10 inch Apps induction coil, together with tubes, stands and other accessories. For the last year or two a smaller apparatus has been used with success in finding shot, bullets and needles in the limbs; but the new apparatus is capable of locating fractures of bones or the presence of bullets in any part of the body. The coil, which is one of the most expensive and essential parts of the apparatus, is made by Newton & Co., of London, who lead all the makers in induction coils.

Cost of X-Ray apparatus $458.80"

-- Minutes of the Syrian Protestant College Board of Managers, July 1899

The Syrian Protestant College Hospital was an extension of the Syrian Protestant College, a school founded by missionaries in 1868. The two eventually became the American University of Beirut and its Medical Center. Roentgen discovered x-ray in 1895, and the first machine brought to Lebanon came to the Syrian Protestant College Hospital in 1898. Since then, radiology at AUBMC has kept pace with the developments and advances in imaging.

The radiology department at AUBMC provides a comprehensive range of services to the in- and outpatients of a 300-bed tertiary-care hospital associated with the School of Medicine at AUB. These services include both diagnostic and interventional procedures covering almost all aspects of radiology:

  • diagnostic and color Doppler ultrasound

  • spiral CT with plans to acquire a multidetector unit

  • a 1.5T MR unit with cardiac and functional capabilities

Interventional radiology includes diagnostic angiography as well as vascular stenting and embolization, in addition to fine-needle aspiration and percutaneous interventional procedures. Gated SPECT myocardial perfusion studies as well as other nuclear medicine studies are available. PET studies are performed at a nearby facility and reviewed in the department and kept with the patient's file.

The department is staffed by six full-time radiologists, each with a special interest in one aspect of radiology. All have to provide coverage of general radiology and each other, however, depending on the needs of the department and workload.

Members of the department participate in the teaching of medical students who rotate with us in their electives and observing the formalized curriculum of the first- and second-year medical students. A four-year residency program includes eight residents, two for each year. Recently, our residents have been successful in securing fellowship positions in the U.S. at institutions such as the University of Iowa, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University.

AUBMC and the School of Medicine have a long history of leadership in the medical field in Lebanon and the Middle East. The radiology department is proud to be a leader in training physicians and introducing new technology to the region.

Dr. Hourani is an associate professor of radiology at the American University of Beirut School of Medicine.