Mobile Computed Tomography: Evaluation of the NeuroLogica CereTom
November 1, 2008 | Evaluations & Guidance
The CereTom scanner from NeuroLogica Corporation is a mobile computed tomography (CT) unit. It is designed specifically for scans of the head and neck, although its aperture is large enough to perform whole-body scans of neonates as well. It can be brought to the patient’s room and used while the patient remains in bed. This capability eliminates the need to transport patients to a CT scanner in another area of the hospital, a process that can create serious risks for some critically ill patients.
Mobile CT is not new—the technology has been available for a decade or so. But the CereTom is the first mobile scanner to offer image quality comparable to that of conventional fixed scanners.
Transporting critically ill patients is often problematic. A recent prospective study found that difficulties arose during 62% of cases in which critically ill patients were being transported within the hospital—difficulties such as cardiovascular episodes and malfunctions of patient care equipment like ventilators and infusion pumps (Lovell et al. 2001). That study also noted that 83% of the patient transports for these critically ill patients were for CT studies. In another prospective study, Gunnarsson et al. (2000) found that 23% of high- and medium-risk neurosurgical intensive care patients suffered complications during transport for CT exams.
By reducing transport requirements, mobile CT is expected to reduce the number of complications experienced by patients. What’s more, mobile CT allows imaging of some patients who previously could not be scanned because they could not be transported safely—particularly those in trauma, intraoperative, and intensive care settings.
Benefits for adult patients. The number of indications for CT head scanning is considerable in trauma and intensive care—for example, suspected hemorrhage and trauma can be found with CT. Broder and Warshauer (2006) determined that head and cervical spine imaging accounted for 67% of adult CT scans ordered in a Level I trauma center. McCunn et al. (2000) found that 63% of scans ordered in an intensive care unit (ICU) were head exams. In other words, head and neck CT exams account for about two-thirds of all studies in critically ill patients. Being unable to scan a patient because of transport concerns can significantly impair diagnosis for such patients.
Benefits for neonatal patients. CT imaging is an essential tool when diagnosing and treating critically ill neonatal patients, who may have anatomical anomalies or injuries associated with birth that require whole-body imaging. Often, clinical decisions must be made very quickly, so...