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Helical CT Scan


It is with great pleasure and excitement to announce that AIC will be installing a brand new multi-slice CT scanner in May 2003. As you may recall, AIC was the first to introduce Multi-Slice CT (MSCT) to the valley in 1999 with its dual-slice CT, then state-of-the-art. Now we take pride in introducing the next generation in CT technology to the valley.  This new 16-slice MSCT scanner is the most advanced CT scanner in the world and the first and oly one of it's kind in the valley.  Features include:

         16-SLICE CT (40 slices per second!!!): A 16-slice CT, fundamentally surpassing all the current scanners in the area.

         400-msec ROTATION: The first and only scanner in the world capable of 400-msec (0.4 sec) scan rotation. In other words, routine 16-slice acquisition every 0.4 second can be obtained (thatís 40 slices per second!!!). This is a quantum leap in technological advances.

         ULTRA-HIGH RESOLUTION AND SPEED: Half-millimeter (0.5 mm) slice thickness at the speed of 40 slices per second (16 slices every 0.4 second) can cover up to 1.8 meters. It is at least 40 times faster than a regular spiral CT and 3 to 5 times faster than the fastest existing CTís in the area.  No other scanner in the industry can match it's speed and resolution.

         LOW-DOSE (Pediatric & Adult): Automatic low-dose adjustment. Low-dose pediatric scans. Low-dose screening chest CT.

         CT PERFUSION: Exclusive CT Perfusion scan for evaluation of acute stroke.

         3D CT ANGIOGRAPHY (CTA): Full capabilities of CTA including 3D CTA RUN-OFF, Aorta, Carotid, Mesenteric, Renal Arteries and Coronary Arteries with automatic Bolus Tracking technique utilizing a sophisticated 3D/4D workstation.

         CORONARY CALCIUM SCORING: The most sophisticated Coronary Calcium Scoring software with Prospective and Retrospective Cardiac Gating, automated scoring, etc.

         CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY: The 3D Coronary CTA is an amazing and spectacular new technology with sophisticated 3D/4D software allowing for unfolding and flaying of the coronary arteries in 3D. Now hard and soft plaques can be visualized with automated software to determine the degree of stenosis. Obviously, CTA is done with a venous injection rather than a femoral stick arterial catheterization. Any abnormality requires a cardiology referral thus increasing referrals for cardiac cath. This technique is nearly as accurate as conventional x-ray angiography.

         CARDIAC FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS PACKAGE: Functional evaluation of the heart including Ejection Fraction (EF), End Diastolic Volume (EDV), End Systolic Volume (ESV), Stroke Volume (SV), Cardiac Output (CO), Wall Thickness, Wall Motion.

         3D/4D VIRTUAL COLONOSCOPY (VC): Ultrafast VC with real-time fly-through. Automatic multiplanar & 3D intraluminal display.

         REAL-TIME CT FLUORO: The only scanner capable of real-time CT fluoroscopy. This is the ultimate tool for performing real-time CT-guided procedures including biopsies, aspirations, and arthrographic procedures in a matter of a few minutes rather than 30-45 minutes. A robot-like needle & syringe holder allows for performing these procedures inside the gantry with pinpoint accuracy and low dose without having to bringing the patient out of the gantry.


Advanced Imaging Center offers one of the world's most sophisticated CT scanners. It is the only multi-slice, multi-detector helical CT scanner in the Antelope Valley area. It is capable of performing the most complex CT procedures.

CT (computed tomography) has been revolutionized by the advent of VOLUMETRIC (spiral or helical) CT.   In contrast to conventional CT which images a slice of the body, incrementally moves the patient and obtains another slice, etc., helical CT acquires data continuously as the patient travels through the CT gantry.

The approach markedly decreases the time required to do a study.   The entire chest and abdomen are scanned in less than a minute.  

Its other advantages are the elimination of motion artifact, imaging during the window of optimal contrast enhancement for maximal image contrast, and the ability to present images in any plane (multiplanar reconstruction).  

Advanced Imaging Center has installed the state-of-the-art Picker (Marconi) Dual Slice Helical CT Scanner.   This spiral type of scanner is revolutionary in design.   The radiation emitted from the powerful x-ray tube is divided into two beams, and there are two complete 360 degree sets of detectors.   This concept allows scanning to be performed very rapidly and with extremely high resolution.   Slice thickness of as little as .5 mm can be achieved.   This is useful in studying very small structures such as the bones in the middle ear.

Scanning of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis is performed in a single breath-hold for each area. As an example, in scanning the lungs, thin slices in the range of 2.5 to 5.0 mm can be obtained through the entire chest during a single breath-hold, approximately 22 seconds.   The computer creates the images almost instantly and may be reviewed on the monitor prior to the patient leaving the facility.

The scanner is also capable of performing CT angiography, imaging of the large arteries of the body with detail comparable to traditional catheter angiography.

The scanner has many orthopedic applications because of its powerful computer which allows information to be manipulated into images in any plane.   This information can be very helpful for surgical planning.   The computer has the ability to perform three-dimensional surface images which may be rotated 360 degrees in any angle.

Oral surgeons utilize the information obtained from scanning of the upper and lower jaw for evaluation of bone detail and the location of nerves in preparing for dental implants.   The information provided cannot be obtained from standard x-rays.  


Q & A regarding AIC's Ultrafast, multidetector Helical CT

Q.     Can you tell me about the new helical CT at AIC?

A.     Certainly. It is a 16-slice CT. The new helical CT has replaced our old dual-slice CT. It is a multi-slice (multi-detector) CT capable of simultaneously scanning 16 slices evry 0.4 second (or 40 slices per second), thus increasing the speed of CT scanning by at least a factor of 40 or more. It is the fastest CT in the Antelope Valley area.

Q.     What does ultrafast CT allow you to do?

A.     Here's a summary (* denotes AIC exclusive):

  1. Fast high-resolution (1-2 mm) routine imaging of the neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
  2. *Fast high-res (0.5 mm) imaging of the IAC's/Temporal bones.
  3. *Fast ultra-high-resolution (0.5 mm) imaging of the bones for 4D isotropic reconstruction.
  4. 3D and 4D CT Angiography (CTA): aorta, pulmonary arteries, runoffs, brain.
  5. Coronary artery calcification scoring (excellent non-invasive screening test).
  6. Virtual endoscopy (colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, and endovascular angioscopy with CT!)

Q.     What does coronary calcification scoring tell you?

A.     Coronary scoring is a safe, noninvasive and fast screening CT technique that scans the heart in a few seconds and gives a score based on the amount of calcium build up in the coronary arteries. The score is a good predictor of future coronary events. For instance, it has a 100% negative predictive value!

Q.     Can you tell me more about the new workstation at AIC?

A.     Certainly. The new workstation is a state-of-the-art silicon graphics workstation linked to all our modalities including Open MRI, high-field MRI, Helical CT, and Nuclear med (SPECT/PET). It is a powerful and sophisticated computer capable of amazing multiplanar and 4D reconstruction, fusion of images from different modalities, 4D virtual endoscopy, dental scan, 3D/4D CT Angiography (CTA), just to name a few. It is simply technology at its best.

Q.     What is virtual endoscopy?

A.     This noninvasive technique is one of the hottest areas in CT today that allows 4D visualization of hollow organs (colon, bronchus, etc.) similar to video endoscopy. This is only available at AIC.

Q.     I have not heard of image fusion. Can you explain?

A.     Of course. Image fusion is a sophisticated software utilized by our workstation that allows fusion of images from different modalities (e.g., CT, MRI, SPECT, PET) or fusion of images from the same modality at different times (to evaluate for growth). For example, a physiologic/metabolic SPECT or PET image can be combined with an anatomic CT or MRI image to provide an anatomico-physiologic image.

| ScanHealth | Open MRI | High-field MRI | MR Angiography | Helical CT | CT Angiography | Calcium Scoring |
| 4D CT Reconstruction | Dental Scan | 4D Ultrasound | Nuclear Medicine | PET Scan | DEXA Bone Density | X-ray |

Facts about services at AIC

1.     The only community-based, private-practice, physician-operated imaging facility in the Antelope Valley, just like any other private practice medical office.   Not belonging to any hospital or outside imaging network.   This means more personal and caring service.

2.     AIC was the first MRI-accredited site in the Antelope Valley ... approved by the American College of Radiology's MRI Accreditation Committee.

3.     Dr. Ray Hashemi is the only radiologist in the area with fellowship training in ALL aspects of MRI, including neuro and musculoskeletal MRI.


Why is AIC the PIONEER in advanced medical imaging in the Antelope Valley?

1.     AIC was the first to introduce a high-quality OPEN MRI (open-air or open-sided MRI) to the Antelope Valley (January 1998).

2.     AIC was the first to introduce Short-bore OPEN High-Field (1.5 Tesla) MRI to the Antelope Valley (January 1999).

3.    AIC was the first to introduce multi-slice CT (MSCT) to the Antelope Valley (August 1999); upgraded to a 16-slice CT in 2003.

4.     AIC was the first to introduce revolutionary 3D Ultrasound to the Antelope Valley (April 1999); upgraded to a GE 4D Ultrasound in 2004.

5.     AIC was the first to introduce a PET scanner to the Antelope Valley (July 1999).

6.     AIC was the first to achieve MRI Accreditation in the Antelope Valley (July 2000).

Call us at one of our three locations: Lancaster (661) 949-8111, Palmdale (661) 456-2020 or Valencia (661) 255-0060

copyright © 2004 ray h. hashemi, m.d., ph.d.