July 21st, 2003

Great River Medical Center soon will begin offering an integrated PET/CT scanning system--one of the most sophisticated imaging technologies available. The hospital will be among the first medical centers in Iowa to offer this type of imaging.

The new system integrates two technologies--positron emission tomography (PET) and multislice computed tomography (CT)--in one scanner. It allows physicians to see the internal structures of the body (from CT) and their metabolic activity (from PET) in a single image. This information is particularly beneficial in the diagnosis of disease, treatment planning and treatment monitoring.

“The system was very attractive to us in terms of its leading-edge technology,” said Greg Fields, director of the hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department. “PET/CT will provide our physicians with a tool that can more accurately detect cancer and pinpoint its exact location in the body.”

The PET/CT scanner is designed for both head and whole-body studies. It also is capable of providing two-dimensional and three-dimensional images, and it has a large opening that can accommodate a wide range of patients and types of studies.

“The system is a remarkable step forward in providing physicians with more detailed information to diagnose and treat disease,” said Steven Davis, M.D., medical director, Diagnostic Imaging Department. “We’re very excited to provide our patients with access to this potentially life-saving technology.”

The scanner, which initially will be a mobile unit docked at the hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department, will be available every Monday beginning Aug. 4.

“Our plan is to begin offering this service one day a week with the mobile unit and then evaluate the use of the scanner after a period of time,” Fields said. “If we find that the need is there, we will consider installing a permanent unit in the Diagnostic Imaging Department so the service will be available every day.”