New Imaging Technology: A Valuable Tool for Detecting Illness

New technology at Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion is giving physicians even more tools for detecting and treating cancer, heart problems and other disorders — all while keeping patients safer.

  The new 64-slice PET/CT at Sharp Memorial Hospital Outpatient Pavilion

In July, the Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion unveiled a 64-slice PET/CT system, which provides an unprecedented level of detail in images of tissues and organs. The system also includes time-of-flight technology that reduces a patient’s exposure to radiation by up to 66 percent.

"This powerful system keeps us at the forefront of imaging technology, and it is revolutionizing our ability to detect illnesses and design treatment plans for our patients," said Dr. Robert Yacullo, medical director of the Outpatient Imaging Center at Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion.

The system combines the technologies of a PET scan, which shows how organs and tissues are working, and a CT scan, which creates cross-sectional images of a patient’s bones and soft tissue. Together, these technologies provide a crystal-clear, comprehensive look at a spectrum of illnesses in the body, including cancer, heart problems and head disorders. The technology is particularly valuable for obese patients, whose body size makes detection and diagnosis of tumors more difficult.

The time-of-flight technology helps produce clearer PET images by measuring the time it takes to detect gamma rays produced by radioisotopes injected into a patient’s body. Conventional PET scanners only track where the rays go. The time-of-flight detection is so powerful that it reduces the amount of radioactive material needed in a patient’s body.

Sharp HealthCare is the first health organization in San Diego to offer time-of-flight PET scans to patients.

The Outpatient Pavilion's new unit also allows for a faster CT scan, taking 64 views — known as "slices" — in one rotation. Because of this, the scan is efficient and precise, providing clearer images that lead to more accurate diagnoses.

For More Information
To learn more about the Outpatient Imaging Center at Sharp Memorial Outpatient Pavilion, please call 858-939-5100. To learn more about imaging services at Sharp, visit Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging.