SUGAR LAND — Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the first in Fort Bend to offer a new high-resolution PET/CT imaging machine – called the Biograph mCT – that improves physicians’ abilities to make diagnoses.
The PET/CT produces crisper, more detailed images than older machines – and does so with reduced rates of radiation exposure.
“This is a valuable investment in patient care because imaging plays such a critical role in diagnosis,” said Eric Longo, M.D., Chair of the Department of Radiology at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “With the new PET/CT, our oncologists will be able to characterize the tiniest cancer lesions more precisely, which allows for better staging and monitoring of changes in activity over time. The PET/CT will aid our neurologists in the evaluation of neurological disorders and dementia. Cardiologists will be able to more accurately assess multi-vessel disease.”
The PET/CT is faster and smoother than traditional scanning technology, which provides a number of important benefits.
“The PET/CT uses innovative software to produce highly accurate scans rapidly, a critical advantage because longer scans increase the chance of patient movement which can interfere with image quality,” said Chiekezi Ekechi, Director of Imaging and Diagnostic Services at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “In addition, the PET/CT table moves in a single continuous motion through the scan, which reduces patient movement compared to the stop-and-start motion of traditional scanners. All of that means less exposure to radiation and fewer retakes – important benefits for patients who require frequent follow-up exams.”
The PET/CT is also more comfortable than older machines, with a wide table for patients and a large-diameter opening. It can even be used for full-body scans. The short tunnel also allows many scans to be performed with the patient’s head outside of the machine, which improves patient comfort and reduces feelings of anxiety or claustrophobia.