Computed Tomography (CT)
CT is an older diagnostic radiological procedure that has seen phenomenal advances in the past several years. Older machines had a single detector and imaged just one slice of the body or organ studied with each rotation of the gantry. This took a long time to complete such studies and there was greater exposure to radiation. However, Snow Canyon Clinic owns and employs a so called "multi slice" CT, or spiral CT, that incorporates multiple detectors and enables sixteen slices of the body to be studied with just one rotation of the gantry. "Further, this year the equipment will be further advanced to a so called 64 slice CT, and eventually 256 slice CT as per current plans. This dramatically reduces the time for completion of virtually any CT study, and it enables very sophisticated studies that were never before even contemplated. For example, the technology is so fast that we can now study the anatomical detail of moving organs, such as the heart. (For more on this, see below.)
We have a separate section under "Services" in which we discuss PET-CT. You will note that PET-CT incorporates both PET and CT equipment "fused" within one architecture. The CT that we use is a component of the PET-CT. In other words, with PET-CT one can study just PET, or just CT, or the fusion study of PET and CT. It is only practical to use one machine with it's multiple capabilities, rather than duplicating separate technologies.
Therefore, with this one instrument we are able to undertake virtually any CT study that is ever called for in imaging diagnostic technology. CT imaging is often used for emergency brain scans, sinus scans, lung scans, spine scans, abdomen and retroperitoneal scans (often to detect kidney stones), and virtually any small or larger organ system can be studied by CT. MRI is often superior to CT imaging, and does not require the exposure to X-rays as does CT. However, there are many applications where CT is strongly indicated, such as pulmonary (lung) imaging, sinus scanning, and the detection of kidney stones. Without very highly specialized equipment for MRI imaging, CT is also the procedure of choice for abdomen imaging. (However, Snow Canyon Clinic has such highly specialized equipment and is capable of obtaining superior abdomen and liver images with MRI.)
Thus, Snow Canyon Clinic performs routine CT scans when diagnostically indicated. However, we also have a full complement of the most advanced ancillary equipment with computer technology and software that enables us to perform non invasive coronary angiograms. We are thus able to study the heart in a single study, and obtain a vast quantity of related information, rendering the capability of imaging not only the coronary arteries but also the capability to assess cardiac function and anatomy in the manner that provides the types of information most commonly sought by a combination of invasive cardiac catheterization and echocardiography. Calcium scoring is also performed, which may correlate well with the degree of coronary artery disease. The coronary artery imaging is actually superior to the use of MRI for coronary visualization.
Such sophistication also enables us to undertake virtual bronchoscopy. This is the ability to visualize the upper airways, distal into the lung tissue, non invasively. Snow Canyon Clinic is a pioneer in this type of investigation, but special note should be made that CT bronchoscopy is not yet ready as an approved diagnostic method. Similarly, the Clinic is studying the use of CT colonography as a substitute to standard invasive colonoscopy. Again, however, just as for MR colonography and CT bronchoscopy, there are limitations and this remains a research application as far as Snow Canyon Clinic is concerned.
Snow Canyon Clinic is committed to the continual advance in diagnostic technology to improve the quality of lives for all people, and will always be in the forefront of such technological development.