New world-class cardiac scanner will benefit NHS Grampian patients

A new cardiac scanner, the first of its kind in Scotland, has been unveiled by NHS Grampian.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 11:05 am
The IQ SPECT CT with clinical scientists, from left, Jennifer McCormick, Margo-Rose McNab and Mark Pether.
The IQ SPECT CT with clinical scientists, from left, Jennifer McCormick, Margo-Rose McNab and Mark Pether.

The state-of-the-art technology – known as IQ SPECT CT – can quickly take 4D images of the heart and will benefit predominately cardiac patients with ischaemic heart disease – heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries.

Professor Roger Staff, head of Imaging Physics, said: “Ultimately, this world-class scanner will benefit our patients and their experience.

“Historically, cardiac scans, for instance, could take upwards of 15 minutes. With this new machine, they can now be complete in less than five minutes.

"The system helps improve patient comfort as people are required to stay still for less time.

"The technology can also work with lower doses of radiation, benefiting both the patient and saving resources.

“Quicker scan times also provide the potential, in future, for patient capacity to be increased – with more scans taking place in the same timeframe.

“The department is delighted with the new machine.”

Professor Staff said that Covid-19 restrictions had presented multiple challenges during the installation process.

“We had some difficulties with the German installation team getting to the site and changes in standards brought about by the pandemic,” he explained.

“However, we are very pleased with the final system.”

The new scanner, supplied by Siemens Healthineers, allows multiple multi-modality imaging, that is, two types of imaging at the same visit.

The scanner allows imaging of the radioactive distribution of activity in the body representing the body's metabolism and function.

The demand for such examination is increasing, with more patients being required to be imaged multiple times to assess their response to therapy.

One of a handful IQ SPECT CTs currently used in the UK, the system at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Professor Staff added: “It represents a cutting-edge development for cardiac and cancer services in the region and keeps us at the forefront of diagnostic technology.”