Executive Summary

Seeing more of our children
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH), based in South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, is a leading provider of specialist care for children with acute and chronic conditions. It is also the state’s largest maternity and obstetric service, providing obstetric and neonatal care to more than 250,000 women and children each year. In addition to serving patients locally, the hospital is also a tertiary referral center.

When the time came for the WCH to upgrade its CT scanning technology, it was essential the chosen system be capable of producing images of the highest achievable quality for all applications—with the lowest radiation dose. It was also essential that the speed of the system was capable of minimizing the number of examinations performed under sedation and general anesthesia. The WCH chose the Discovery* CT750 HD.

The Facility
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia, is a 305-bed obstetric and pediatric specialty hospital.

Results
Improved quality:
• High-definition images with significantly reduced dose, in some cases as much as 75% (Table 1 and 2)
• Advanced CT angiography enabling additional and more accurate diagnoses.
• Faster scan time, reducing the need for sedation and increasing patient comfort.

Background

Dose reduction, improved image quality
In the last five years, much research has been conducted on the harmful effects of radiation on children— particularly from CT systems. The dose reduction solutions offered by the Discovery CT750 HD have enabled the WCH to significantly reduce the amount of radiation young patients are exposed to. (1)  

“We have experienced a dose reduction across all examinations,” says Dr Rebecca Linke, M.D. (Unit Head, Pediatric Imaging, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide). The percentage of dose reduction has varied from an impressive 25% to 30% (Table 1) for routine head examinations to as much as 74% (Table 2) for the CT pulmonary angiograms, when compared with the previous CT scanner.

Benefit

Faster scan times, happier patients
Children’s movement and anxiety can make acquiring clear CT images a challenge. In the past, the WCH has needed to sedate or anesthetize young patients in order to get the required images free of motion.  

Since the installation of the Discovery CT750 HD the requirement for sedation has greatly been reduced. The WCH now can scan some infants without sedation. They commonly perform the scan after a “fast, feed and wrap” in infants, who will then sleep through the CT study.  

An additional benefit of the Discovery CT750 HD is the ability to start the scan from within the room. “Children don’t like to be left alone in a strange room,” Linke says. “Being in the room with a child, holding his or her hand, increases the potential for keeping them still and getting a good scan the first time.”

Solution

“The improvements in spatial resolution allow us to more clearly see and identify organs in the bodies of very small children,” Linke says. The improved image quality the WCH is experiencing with the Discovery CT750 HD has enabled radiologists to more clearly identify complex cardiovascular abnormalities in infants—something it was unable to do with previous technology.  

For example, the Discovery CT750 HD has provided the capability to perform high-resolution CT angiography of the hand in children with Apert syndrome. This is a congenital disorder characterized by malformations in the skull, face, hands and feet. Multiple surgeries sometimes are required to correct these malformations in the hands.  

"We weren’t able to do these sorts of angiographic studies to help the surgeons plan for the surgery,” says Scott Brown, CT/MRI Team Leader at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. “Now we’re able to get brilliant pictures of the vascular anatomy, in some cases reducing the number of surgeries performed on a patient to just one.”

References

1. Brenner DJ, Hall EJ; Computed Tomography – An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure, New England Journal of Medicine Nov 2007 (Review Article)  

*Discovery and LightSpeed are trademarks of General Electric Company.


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