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Diagnostic imaging

Advanced SPECT/CT installed at Capital Health

EDMONTON – Canada’s most advanced SPECT/CT scanner is now in use at Capital Health’s Royal Alexandra Hospital. The $2.5 million machine has been used with 80 patients since late January and it is expected that approximately 2,600 patients will benefit from this machine annually.

“The SPECT/CT is a specialized test that provides us with a degree of accuracy that we’ve never had before when it comes to pinpointing tumours and other abnormalities,” says Dr. Bill Anderson, Capital Health’s Clinical Director, Diagnostic Imaging, and Associate Clinical Professor, Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging, University of Alberta. “This precision helps us provide better diagnosis and treatment, particularly for cancer patients, by helping us clearly identify the location of a tumour, how active it is and if it is spreading.”

The first of its kind in Canada, and one of just a few in the world, the device combines a specialized gamma camera with a state-of-the-art, “16-slice” CT scanner. The gamma camera visualizes the function of various tissues while the CT scanner provides the precise location of the abnormality. Now the exact site of pathology can be determined with greater accuracy and speed, allowing for better less-invasive treatment planning.

Dr. Michael Hoskinson, Capital Health’s Clinical Specialty Coordinator for Nuclear Medicine, and Associate Clinical Professor, Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging, University of Alberta, says “The SPECT/CT is like using MapQuest to find an address. The machine is being used primarily to help locate tumours that other diagnostic tools haven’t been able to locate, but the future possibilities are endless.”

He also notes that the machine is an important part of planning for the Molecular Imaging Institute, a joint initiative between Capital Health and the University of Alberta. This institute will further advance diagnostic imaging, improving diagnosis and patient care for years to come.

About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest health region and is affiliated with the University of Alberta, providing integrated health services to one million residents in Edmonton and the surrounding area. Capital Health acts as a referral centre to central and northern Alberta, the North and the Prairies, providing specialized services such as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.