Heart + Lung

High Definition – Less Radiation

Teams at St. Paul’s Hospital were the first in Canada to scan patients with the world’s first high-definition scanner. The scanner – GE Healthcare’s Discovery CT750 HD – features the first new detector material in 20 years, providing unmatched high quality and detailed images a hundred times faster than previous technology. This is a radical change for the industry where no longer do higher-quality images come with higher radiation dose. With up to half the radiation for body scans, and up to 83 per cent less radiation for cardiac scans, the technology dramatically reduces exposure for patients.

“We can now look at the coronary arteries using this non-invasive technology and make faster, more accurate diagnoses of heart disease,” says Dr. Brett Heilbron, a cardiologist at St. Paul’s Hospital. “This technology also provides a valuable alternative to the traditional angiogram for some patients, because it is less invasive, safer, and less expensive.”

However, cardiac patients aren’t the only ones seeing the benefits of the remarkable new machine. It is invaluable for early stroke detection, to detect pneumonia or pneumothorax, and, with its unprecedented ability to differentiate between types of soft tissue, to more accurately diagnose lesions in the lungs, liver and other organs.

At the same time, Drs.  Heilbron and Jonathon Leipsic, Head of Radiology of Providence Health Care and other colleagues in the IHLH community are also doing world-leading clinical research with the new CT scanner in collaboration with other renowned academic health science centres like Cornell University Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. Their research includes focusing on areas such as the potential role of CT imaging in measuring the narrowing of the coronary arteries, including for patients with coronary stents.

For more on cardiovascular imaging research visit UBC’s Cardiovascular Imaging Research Core Laboratory (CIRCL).