Academic Hospital gets Symbia T scanner

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bloemfontein - Universitas, in Bloemfontein, is the first academic hospital in the country to take possession of a Symbia T scanner - a single photon (gamma-ray) detecting camera system integrated with a computed tomography (x-ray) system.

Besides its versality, some of the advantages of the scanner are its speed and ability to study a wide variety of diseases in all the organ systems of the human body.

These include the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, skeleton as well as aspects of the haematological system.

The scanner's scintigraphic quality is excellent and can be further enhanced by attenuation correction when combined with CT imaging. The latter also helping to localize pathology or lesions more accurately.

"The integrated system represents some of the most advanced technology in this scientific field today, the hospital said in a statement.

According to the hospital, it would bring tremendous relief to the existing systems and increase service delivery significantly.

"It is described as the best practical modality in modern medicine to integrate anatomy and physiology."

The Nuclear Medicine Department at the hospital, which will be using the scanner, has been using radio-activity to diagnose and monitor diseases over the past few years.

However, the therapeutic aspects of nuclear medicine, the hospital said, are limited to a few procedures where unsealed radio-activity is used to treat disease.

The Universitas Academic Hospital is the only academic tertiary hospital serving a population close to five million in the central part of Southern Africa.

It offers a full spectrum of tertiary and quaternary services including renal and bone marrow transplants, cochlear implants, advanced cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf.

The hospital is attached to the University of Free State faculty of Health Sciences and also serves as the Central University of Technology for practical training of health care professionals.