Valme Hospital is at the forefront of public health in Seville with a pioneering diagnostic CT scan. The radiodiagnosis service has incorporated a new computerized tomography, spectral CT, which improves the diagnostic accuracy of various diseases such as cardiology, pediatrics, oncology, urology, internal medicine and musculoskeletal, to the generation of spectral image Thanks, that adds maximum visual detail for the greater characterization of the various elements, tissues and injuries. It is the first of these features to be installed in the Sevillian public health system and has been acquired by the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) within the Energy Footprint Project, in which, through the Availability Service, it has been refurbished and improved diagnostics. has been done. Capacity of 68 teams in Andalusia.
The new equipment that has put Hospital de Valme on the map the most advanced and state-of-the-art technology at the Andalusian level, with an investment of 1.5 million euros, promotes the improvement of clinical capacity since more definition. And the quality of this technology facilitates more clear images where inflammatory, degenerative and tumor processes are viewed with greater accuracy and allows specialists to objectify them more quickly, minimizing the impact on the patient because This allows the study to be performed ultra-low doses, reducing the dose of intravenous iodinated contrast in patients and radiation by up to 80% compared to conventional CT.
“This is a new concept that represents a technological revolution in our specialty for the clinical-therapeutic field, contributing to a higher overall quality of care. In addition, it speeds up diagnostic times, avoids additional tests or medical consultations to monitor pathology and optimize efficiency in care responses”, explains Rafael Aznar, Head of Radiodiagnosis Service, South Seville Health Management Region.
The instrument consists of a 16-centimeter detector that allows to obtain body surface images of that length in just 0.28 seconds, which translates to a quarter of a second, replacing the traditional definition of slices by computerized axial tomography. . “In particular, it has the technical characteristics that define it as one of the most accurate available in the current healthcare environment, providing many advantages marked by the fact that it has its own spectral image, which means high definition quality, speed of image acquisition in fractions, second and more thorough identification of the structure of certain tissues or disease areas”, explain healthcare sources.
Add to this the diversity of its applicability in many medical and surgical specialties. Thus, the new spectral CT opens up new perspectives in cardiac diagnosis as it allows a complete study to be obtained in a single heartbeat, expanding the spectrum of patients who can benefit from its approach. This is the case of virtual coronary angiography, where until now with previous instruments there was a limitation due to heart rate; While this is not the limit at present, a thorough cardiovascular study is warranted. Profiles of patients with atrial fibrillation, extrasystole or other cardiac arrhythmias are also added.
Similarly, in the cardiology field, further advances are added, such as myocardial assessment, perfusion, tests to analyze early results of myocardial ischemia, and without the need to sacrifice image quality by repeating ionizing doses.
Another inherent algorithm in the new device is the correction of patient movement as well as its instrumentation with metal artifact reduction software, allowing for the best image resolution in patients with prostheses or metal implants close to the exploration area. An advance is not limited to the heart region, but applies to the rest of the body. In fact, this last feature has great benefits for the investigation of clinically unstable patients, as in the case of its application in the study of the chest, which has wide areas to avoid breathing artifacts.
But there is more. Also in the pediatric field, where it has a special added value as it deals with patients who are very sensitive to radiation and the speed of image acquisition is essential, the new device achieves a significant reduction in radiation and in many cases sedation. action is avoided.
Similarly, the progress of this new technology is of great importance in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients. This represents an improvement in its management as it determines not only the volume, location and extent of the tumor, but also its biological characteristics, reducing the administration of iodinated contrast.
In the field of urology, spectral analysis allows characterization of the precise structure of kidney and urinary stones, making it easier for the specialist to make decisions based on these findings.
For its part, this technique is quite useful in specialties designed in the musculoskeletal field, such as traumatology, rheumatology or rehabilitation. New tools detect bone swelling in fractures, which so far has only been visible in magnetic resonance studies. Therefore, it provides important information on bone trauma that determines decision-making and the treatments to be prescribed. Likewise, this deposit constitutes a fundamental advance in the detection of diseases (gout, pseudogout, …); As well as in the elimination of artifacts created in metallic prostheses, which until now represented great difficulty in the evaluation of surrounding tissues or organs.
On the other hand, their speed and low dosage have made them the tool of choice for lung cancer screening and screening studies. It is capable of performing a high definition chest CT with a dose similar to that of an ordinary X-ray. And, at the same time, it is very useful for the detection of pulmonary thromboembolism, thereby assessing the degree of perfusion of the pulmonary parenchyma.
For all these reasons, Luis Martínez Hervas, Managing Director of the South Seville Health Management Region, values the “participation” of the radiodiagnosis service in incorporating this new technology because of its “continued commitment to innovation and achievement of achievement.” Optimizing the quality of response to citizens by increasing therapeutic capacity”.
The Radiodiagnosis service has a complete portfolio of services with state-of-the-art technologies and equipment, which includes highly qualified training of over 150 professionals who make it up. It is a highly coveted clinical service, both for its avant-garde spirit and the availability of a high level of professional competency. It develops a massive activity, increasing to a total of 357,000 annual explorations. In the case of computerized axial tomography, a technology to which a new advance is added and leading the way in the province of Seville, the service registers 28,700 explorations annually.
For its part, these actions are part of the Energy Footprint Project, with Andalusia positioned as one of the first European regions to undertake a global project to reduce radiation used in the diagnostic process. Done, Alberto Perez, as the coordinating project technician.
Within this approach, a patient dose management platform and the Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Center are centrally established, also located at Valme Hospital, managed by radiophysicists and specialists in diagnostic imaging, to determine the radiation doses received by patients. Allows to reduce and expand knowledge by sharing diagnosis and investigation protocols between centers.
The Andalusian Health Service’s Energy Footprint project is implemented in Andalusia through a global availability contract, for a period of more than eight years, for a total amount of over EUR 40 million.