KINGSPORT – To further enhance patient health, Holston Valley Medical Center has recently upgraded CT machines with low-dose radiation software, which significantly reduces exposure to radiation while still providing high quality images.
Holston Valley first acquired the technology in July for its 64-slice CT scanner in the hospital's renovated radiology department. However, it recently obtained the software for lower-dose scans in its outpatient imaging center on West Stone Drive.
"We are proud to offer this forward-thinking, dose-reduction technology to the Tri-Cities region," said Bill Wallick, the imaging center's director. "In delivering a healing environment at Holston Valley, we always look for ways to enhance patient safety for those who entrust us with their care."
Holston Valley is one of the first facilities in the region with this technology. With the new software from GE, called Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction, Holston Valley is taking CT scans to the next level.
CT scans are a key tool for physicians because the images the machines produce are quick and detailed and help physicians diagnose numerous types of illnesses and injuries.
"It's comforting for our referring physicians and patients to know that we provide the same high-quality images at a fraction of the radiation dose," said Dr. Kelly Cassedy, a neuroradiologist at Holston Valley. "Reducing the dosage of radiation sometimes has the potential to lower the image quality of a study, but this has not been a major problem using the new software."
While multiple radiation exposures over a long period of time are a concern for anyone, Holston Valley's medical personnel are particularly cognizant about the effect on children and younger adults. Immature tissues can be more sensitive to radiation so potential effects can be amplified.
Even before Holston Valley obtained this latest technology, there was already a focus on the amount of radiation to which patients are exposed over long periods. In the last year, Holston Valley has adopted protocols to offer alternative testing methods, such as an ultrasound or an X-ray.