New Nuclear Medicine Camera at AGH Allows for Faster Scans at Lower Doses of Radioactive Tracer
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.