VSEC’s NEW Multi-Slice CT Scanner: Working for YOU
By: Alexander MacLeod, DVM, DACVR
Chief of Diagnostic Imaging
Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center
In May of 2016, VSEC Levittown upgraded their 15 year-old single slice CT scanner with a brand new, state of the art, 64- slice Toshiba CT scanner.
But what exactly does this mean, and what can this new machine do? (great question, we’re glad you asked!) This means that a CT scan which would have previously taken several minutes can now be performed in under 5 seconds, and provides images of exceedingly high detail. This combination of increased speed, efficiency and image resolution allows for a larger population of patients to be considered for CT scanning, as well as the ability to perform more advanced interventional diagnostic procedures and impressive 3D reconstructions.
We at VSEC recently recently presented with a case which allowed us to explore these new and exciting diagnostic advantages. A 9 year-old Labrador mix presented to Dr. Michael Jennings, DAVDC, of the Dentistry and Oral Surgery service for evaluation of reluctance to open her mouth and swelling of the left side of the jaw. On oral exam, mild swelling was noted in the left palatine region.
A CT scan was recommended and performed. This revealed a contrast-enhancing soft tissue mass around the left mandibular ramus, with bone lysis of the center of the ramus. A 3D reconstruction of the skull was developed from the CT images, which showed the anatomy and extend of the bone destruction of the mandible (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 – 3 dimensional reconstruction of a CT of the head of a patient in bone window, showing localized bone destruction in the center of the ramus proper of the left mandible (arrow).
Biopsy technique options were discussed among the clinicians of the dental, surgery and radiology services and presented to the owner. A CT guided needle biopsy was elected and was performed without complication, just minutes after the initial CT images were processed. Our newest radiologist associate, Dr. Hanna Murray, who has had extensive CT training in her residency, directed and performed the CT guided biopsy.
While under anesthesia, the patient was repositioned in right lateral recumbency. Using the guidance of the CT table position, a needle was placed to the level of the mandibular bone destruction, followed by a tru-cut biopsy needle at this site. Figure 2 shows the guide needle extending through the masseter muscle to the level of the left mandibular ramus. Histopathology of the sample was consistent with a spindle cell tumor.
Figure 2 – A CT image of the head of the patient, showing a marker needle placed using CT guidance to the level of the bone destruction of the ramus of the mandible.
Not only do we now have the capabilities of high speed multi-slice CT scanning at our Levittown location, but we will be installing additional 2nd and 3rd units of the same kind at our Philadelphia and Conshohocken (opening spring 2017) locations. This will elevate the level and accessibility of veterinary diagnostic imaging and veterinary medicine in general for the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region.
Please do not hesitate to contact VSEC with any questions about CT scans or any other diagnostic imaging questions. We are at your service!
Dr. Alexander “Sandy” MacLeod is a Board-Certified Radiologist and Chief of Diagnostic Imaging at the Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center. The Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center operates state-of the-art emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals that are open 24/7/365 in both Levittown PA and Philadelphia PA. For more information about our world-class emergency and specialty care, please visit VSEC on the web at www.VSECVET.com.