New Nuclear Medicine Camera at AGH Allow for Faster Scans at Lower Doaes of Radioactive Tracer

11-21-2011
Atlantic General Hospital’s Imaging Department is home to a new Symbia S HD detector, the latest in nuclear medicine technology that again makes AGH a leader in imaging services on the Shore.

The new camera and accompanying software solution, installed this fall, allows the nuclear medicine staff to perform certain studies in half the time of commonly-used technology. And, perhaps of more concern to patients and the physicians who refer them for testing, the Symbia S, made by Siemens, is capable of producing diagnostic nuclear scans using less radioactive tracer than its counterparts.

This means more comfort for patients and potentially less exposure to radiation over a patient’s lifetime.

The low doses of radioactive tracer that are currently used at AGH and are still being used at other healthcare institutions are very safe. However, when considering the number of x-rays, cat scans and nuclear medicine exams a patient might need during his or her life, finding ways to lower exposure is always being pursued by imaging professionals.

“We have a term in imaging called ALARA – as low as reasonably achievable,” said Maria Phillips, director of imaging at Atlantic General. “It is a goal in everything we do: even if we’re using safe dosages, we want to use even lower dosages. That’s why we are so excited about having this technology at AGH.”

The faster image capture also decreases discomfort experienced by patients who might already be in pain when they arrive for their exam.

“Some tests require the patients to lie on their backs with their arms over their heads,” said Phillips. “The shorter we can make the process, the better.”

As an example, a cardiac scan that used to take 15 minutes may now take only seven and a half minutes. The new camera also produces images that are clearer and more accurate than ever before, with a more than 25 percent higher sensitivity than its counterparts.

For more information about the Symbia S or nuclear medicine services at Atlantic General Hospital, please call 410-641-9635.

About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) Counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md. combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 25 primary care provider and specialist offices, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.
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