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New Diagnostic Scanner Helps Physicians Make Diagnoses Even When Patients Have Trouble Holding Their Breath

STANFORD--A new Somatom Plus-S Computed Tomography scanner, the first of its kind in the United States, is in the final stages of installation at Stanford University Medical Center.

Made by Siemens of Germany, the scanner provides fast, uninterrupted imaging of the body parts or regions requiring diagnosis. Dr. Gary M. Glazer, chairman of the Department of Radiology, said one of the device's capabilities, called spiral CT scanning, offers patients, such as infants, young children or adults who have trouble holding their breath, the opportunity to be examined during a single breath hold, rather than in a series of images taken in rapid succession. This will minimize errors in the image caused by inconsistent breathing between scans, he said.

The Somatom Plus-S is being installed in a modular building outside the Emergency Department entrance. Glazer said the first patients are expected to be scanned in early October.

This and similar CT technology costs in excess of $1 million, Glazer added.

Glazer said there are only six scanners of this type in the world: one of the other five is in Austria, one is in Switzerland and four are in Germany.


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