How CT Scanners Continue to Revolutionise Healthcare

Dr Avik Bhattacharyya

Dr Avik Bhattacharyya, Consultant Interventional Radiology, CK Birla Hospitals shares how the lives can be saved with the help of the CT angiography

From its first use in 1971, CT Technology has found various uses in numerous walks of life “ from archaeologists who use to ascertain the age of an Egyptian Mummy to Airport baggage scanners “ CT scanners are in more places than one may imagine. But no field has benefitted more from this technology than the medical sciences and specifically radiological diagnosis. The following case of a patient that had come to The Calcutta Medical Research Centre illustrates the importance of a good imaging department that uses state-of-the-art CT technology.

Dr Avik Bhattacharyya, Consultant Interventional Radiology,

Dr Avik Bhattacharyya, Consultant Interventional Radiology

A four year old baby girl fell from a chair. Soon she started to bleed every time she passed urine. The parents were understandably very worried and brought their daughter to Kolkata from their home in Murshidabad. Initial investigations at other hospitals did not reveal the source and an ultrasonography had showed some indication of a blood clot within the kidney. However, the tests could not reveal the aetiology “ why is there bleeding and how is it appearing in the urine? One month since sustaining the injury the girl came to The Calcutta Medical Research Institute. By this time they had also spent a large sum of money on diagnosis and in fact had sold the land that they owned.

At CMRI we performed a CT an giography. The CT an giography immediately revealed a pseudo aneurysm. A branch of the renal artery had dilated when she had sustained a trauma to the kidney and was intermittently rupturing into the kidney. She underwent a cath lab procedure post the diagnosis and the aneurysm was treated successfully. The accurate and efficient diagnosis with the help of the CT an giography enabled us to save the little girl. Moreover the procedure itself was painless and took about 10 minutes to complete.

Not just in diagnosing the problem but CT scanners are also critical in guiding the needle in FNACs and biopsies, which are really helpful in instituting the treatment in many disease conditions. The CT scanner has truly revolutionised medical diagnosis. In fact the CT scanner itself has evolved and has become far more comprehensive and accurate. CT scanners help doctors and clinicians by providing improved insights into the human body. Modern CT scanners have 3D visualization techniques that provide almost realistic images and making minimally invasive surgery ultra precise.

In the beginning the conventional CT scanners or dual slice scans allowed us to only see parts of the brain. Now with new research and highly evolved CT scanners we can virtually view every part of the body. This in itself is a life changing tool in the hands of doctors and surgeons. In fact, CT scanners at CMRI allow us to conduct brain tumour studies that enable us to determine the virulence of the tumour even before operating thereby enabling surgeons to choose the best course of action.

With new research and transformative studies in the field of imaging and radiology the trend would probably lead us to CT scanners that produce automated analytical data that would make the huge amount of information from each scan easier to process for clinicians and surgeons. The looming case of radiation exposure is also an angle which is being constantly worked on. For instance new technology like Proton CTs look to reduce the amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation.

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