A state-of-the-art high resolution, ultra-high sensitivity “total body PET” scanner is now in use at Royal North Shore Hospital benefitting patients and clinical research.
In an Australian-first, the PET/CT scanner will be used equally for clinical research and to perform diagnostic scans for patients with cancer as well as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and unknown infections.
Geoffrey Bassell, of Goulburn, was the first patient to undergo a scan using the new scanner equipment on its first official day of operation. The scanner was purchased through a collaboration with the University of Sydney, the Federal Government’s National Imaging Facility and Northern Sydney Local Health District.
Geoffrey is one of many patients who will benefit from the Siemens’ Quadra, which halves the time it takes for a scan, and reduces the dose of radiation needed due to its precision.
Head of Nuclear Medicine Prof Paul Roach said the previous PET/CT scanner used to take seven to eight images of the body which would take as long as 20 minutes.
“The new scanner is able to capture most of the body in just one image” Paul said.
“At least half the time the scanner will be used for our (hospital) patients and the other time it will be used by the university for clinical research.”
The benefit to patients has been described as enormous, particularly cancer patients by providing more rapid scans which have higher image quality and better diagnostic performance than previous versions.