CRMC Expands Diagnostic Capabilities with SYMBIA S

11/4/2011

In a continuing effort to provide accurate diagnostic imaging and quality patient care, Cullman Regional Medical Center’s Diagnostic Imaging Center recently upgraded to a Siemens Symbia S nuclear medicine imaging system.  CRMC is proud to be the first in our community to offer this system to patients in our community. The new system is ideal for the early detection and staging of cancer, heart disease and other hard-to-diagnose disorders. 

“The primary advantages for CRMC patients are decreased imaging time and improved image quality,” according to CRMC Nuclear Medicine Technologist Carmen Brown, RT(N).  “The open gantry, which allows the patient’s head to remain outside of the camera, also decreases patient anxiety during the procedure.” 

This innovative system performs a variety of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging tasks and is the first nuclear medicine camera designed to perform any procedure on any type of patient. Its high definition digital detectors offer unsurpassed imaging performance and expanded clinical capabilities. Its open gantry design and ultra-thin pallet enhance patient comfort and enable technicians to perform highly accurate organ and tissue-specific studies while accommodating stretcher, wheelchair or ambulatory patients of all sizes and body types.

 “With its unique combination of image quality, patient versatility and unsurpassed functionality,” said Jeffrey K. Nicholson, MD, Radiology Department medical director, “our new nuclear imaging system has significantly reduced examination time and costs while improving patient outcomes.”
Unlike other imaging technologies like X-ray or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) that provide structural or geographic information, nuclear medicine detects activity on a molecular level.  The system works by detecting benign radiation emitted from a radioisotope given to a patient.  Once inside the patient, the radioisotope is attracted to a specific organ or area of the body.  These areas absorb the radioisotope in quantities greater than those absorbed by surrounding tissues.  The radioisotope highlights the area to be examined thus permitting images of the internal body structures and other functions.  Because of this, a nuclear medicine scan can detect things like cancerous lesions in the lungs well before they are large enough to be identified by other means.

“The increased image resolution provided by the new system allows the Technologist to fuse together CT scans (Computerized Axial Tomography) with Nuclear Images to help physicians pinpoint exact locations of treatment and surgical sites,” CRMC Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dwayne Denney said.

CRMC Diagnostic Imaging Center has provided comprehensive nuclear medicine health care services to the community since the 1970s. Expanding the diagnostic capabilities with the addition of the Symbia S will ensure CRMC’s ability to offer high-quality services and deliver cost-effective care to patients. 


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