Patients at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI) at McGill University now have the benefit of the first portable computerized tomography (CT) scanner in Canada.
The CT scanner is an x-ray unit that produces cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. The portable unit at the MNI is a multiple slice scanner which allows doctors to not only visualize the arteries and veins in the brain (CT angiogram) but also allows them to assess blood flow (CT perfusion) which is critical for detecting early stroke.
“As a highly specialized neuroscience research and medical centre, we pride ourselves in providing state-of-the-art technology and treatments to our patients,” says Dr. David Colman, Director of the MNI. This has been our tradition – the first PET, CT and MRI machines in Canada were here at the MNI.
The advantage of the portable CT scanner is that it can be used at various locations in the hospital. For example, the unit can be moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) so on-going treatments do not have to be suspended and diagnosis is obtained rapidly. This is particularly important for severely ill patients on life-support who now do not have to be moved for scanning purposes, eliminating all the risks associated with transportation.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our patients this improved technology,” says Dr. Donatella Tampieri, Director of Neuroradiology at the MNI who uses the scanner regularly for patients who cannot be easily moved. “Transporting very ill patients carries a high-level of risk. With this portable and very versatile machine, we can remove that risk, as well as obtain rapid data, allowing for quick treatment decisions, shorter procedure times and overall better care for our patients.” The scanner has been in use at the MNI since April 2008 and is currently being used for patients in the ICU and in the angiography room. In the near future, the CT scanner will also begin to be used in the operating room. “We are delighted that the CereTom has brought such an impact to the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University,” said Dr. Eric M. Bailey, CEO and Co-founder of NeuroLogica Corporation, which develops and manufactures the portable CT scanner. “Their worldwide reputation as leaders and innovators in the areas of radiology, neurology and neurosurgery is unmatched. I am deeply honored that we have been chosen to be a part of their system.”
The image quality of the portable CT is comparable to what is obtained with a standard CT scanner. Currently, 100 portable CT units have been sold world-wide. This is the first portable CT scanner available in Canada, but a number of hospitals across Canada are preparing to install a unit similar to the portable scanner at the MNI.
About the MNI: October 2009 marks the 75th anniversary of the MNI. The MNI is a McGill University research and teaching institute, dedicated to the study of the nervous system and neurological diseases. Founded in 1934 by the renowned Dr. Wilder Penfield, the MNI is one of the world's largest institutes of its kind. MNI researchers are world leaders in cellular and molecular neuroscience, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience and the study and treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and neuromuscular disorders. The MNI, with its clinical partner, the Montreal Neurological Hospital (MNH), part of the McGill University Health Centre, continues to integrate research, patient care and training, and is recognized as one of the premier neuroscience centres in the world. At the MNI, we believe in investing in the faculty, staff and students who conduct outstanding research, provide advanced, compassionate care of patients and who pave the way for the next generation of medical advances. Highly talented, motivated people are the engine that drives research - the key to progress in medical care. A new building, the North Wing Expansion, is currently under construction and will house state-of-the-art brain imaging facilities. Once the construction is completed and the new building is fully equipped, the scientific community focused on brain imaging research at the MNI will be without equivalent anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit www.mni.mcgill.ca.