NEWS | May 1, 2019

UC Davis Health is first in US to use advanced CT scanner on patients

Imaging system gives physicians more detailed images of human anatomy


UC Davis Health is the first health system in the nation to use a new ultra-high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanner for research and diagnoses.

The CT scanner can provide imaging of human anatomy as small as 150 microns, or about the size of three human hairs. Researchers at the health system in Sacramento are looking into how this scanner compares to a conventional CT scanner. Studies are underway to evaluate diseases of and injuries to the heart, lungs, liver, muscle and bone, and head.

“Although this is a research-based project, the scanner is FDA approved. We have scanned over 500 patients with it already,” said John Boone, professor of radiology and chief of medical physics. “This technology was placed at UC Davis because of our ability to perform patient-centered clinical research in diagnostic imaging.”

The device, an Aquilion Precision™ scanner from Canon Medical Systems USA, has the highest resolution of any clinical CT scanner in North America, according to the company. UC Davis Health clinicians began using this device on patients in late March. They are looking at the possible advantages the new technology brings to diagnoses.

Boone conducted groundbreaking research that led to development of a small CT scanner specifically designed to detect breast cancer. He noted the new scanner has twice the resolution of a normal CT system. The higher resolution will likely improve the detection of diseases and injuries at earlier stages and with greater accuracy. 

“The Radiology Department at UC Davis Medical Center has some truly unique diagnostic imaging tools to help doctors and their patients,” said Boone. “No other institution in the United States currently has such devices available for routine patient imaging.”


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