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Loyola offering most advanced PET/CT scanner on the market

Patient-friendly exams take just 15-20 minutes

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 8, 2014) - Loyola University Medical Center is now offering patients the most advanced PET/CT scanner on the market.

The state-of-the-art system is improving the  diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions.

The Philips Gemini TruFlight® system merges computed tomography (CT), which shows anatomy, with positron emission tomography (PET), which shows metabolic activity. The noninvasive exam takes just 15 or 20 minutes. The patient, lying on an open gantry, is never completely enclosed and can interact with staff.

“It is the most patient-friendly system of its kind,” said Robert Wagner, MD, medical director, Nuclear Medicine.

A CT scan combines an array of X-rays to produce a 3-D image. For example, a CT scan  can show, in exquisite detail, the structural anatomy of a tumor.

The PET scan, in turn, can reveal metabolic “hot spots.” Before the exam, a patient is given a radiopharmaceutical, which is absorbed by organs and tissues that use the most energy. For example, cancer cells, which use more energy than healthy cells, absorb more of the radiopharmaceutical and thus light up the image.

In addition to detecting a tumor, a PET/CT scan can show precisely where it is located, whether it is benign or malignant and whether it has spread. A PET/CT scan also can be used to assess the effectiveness of chemotherapy and determine whether a tumor has recurred.

In cardiovascular patients, a PET/CT scan can determine whether heart muscle damaged in a heart attack is still viable. The scan also can detect cardiac sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease.

In neurological patients, a PET/CT scan can determine the location in the brain where epileptic seizures are originating. The system also can detect amyloid proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Many other applications for PET/CT scans are being developed, Wagner said. “We’re just at the tip of the iceberg.”

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Jim Ritter
Media Relations
(708) 216-2445
jritter@lumc.edu
Anne Dillon
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232
adillon@lumc.edu