Whoever said that a picture was worth a 1,000 words knows exactly what High-definition (HD) technology can do when used in a healthcare setting. It literally can be used to save lives. Gordon Hospital recently completed a major upgrade to its magnetic resonance (MR) imaging capabilities, including the addition of HD software. The software was purchased through a generous donation made by the Clarence E. Harris Foundation.
The software produces dramatic, highly detailed pictures with clarity reminiscent of high-definition television. The images are used to evaluate a wide range of conditions including stroke, musculoskeletal, heart disease and cancer.
“The new technology enables us to obtain more precise images with amazing clarity for a more confident diagnosis, and less likelihood of rescans, even in the most challenging circumstances,” said Raina Sanford, director of Radiology.
During a typical MR scan, a patient is asked to remain still for the exam. In some cases, patients are difficult to image due to movement, including Parkinson’s patients who suffer from uncontrollable movement and children who do not respond to sedation. Even if a patient is cooperative they can blur a scan with a slight movement, including a cough or sneeze. This movement can hide important details, make the doctor’s job of diagnosing the situation more challenging, or require a re-scan – sometimes up to 25 percent of the time with conventional MR scanners.
Gordon Hospital’s new technology adjusts for the movement and reconfigures the image it is creating. “This means patients experience a shorter, more comfortable exam,” said Sanford. “Plus, patients can take advantage of this right here in our own community rather than traveling to Atlanta or Chattanooga and spending hours in traffic.”
Thanks to the new technology, the radiology department can now offer breast MR scans to patients. Breast MR serves as a supplemental tool in detecting breast abnormalities sometimes recommended to patients with dense breast tissue or breast implants.
“The wonderful thing about breast MR is that it is very good at detecting invasive breast cancer,” says Dr. Courtney Perez, a Gordon Hospital radiologist who completed her fellowship training in women’s imaging and is qualified to read breast MR scans. “It allows us to monitor our patients who have had breast cancer, and for newly diagnosed patients, to look for other cancer sites.”
Obtaining this technology brings great pride to the Radiology department, which was recently designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology for being accredited in mammography, breast MRI, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. “With this technology we know that we’ll get superior, high-definition images even in the most difficult cases, and that means better care for our patients,” said Sanford.