What is the Purpose of a CT Scan Machine?
Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, also referred to as Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT), is an imaging technique that takes a series of X-Rays from different angles and then using a computer, combines them into a three-dimensional image of the organ/body part being examined. Each X-Ray takes an image of a slice of the organ being scanned. In Greek, ‘tomos’ means section or slice and ‘graphe’ means ‘drawing’, hence the name.
CT scanners stand out as a savior for doctors to quickly diagnose an issue during emergencies. The scans can be done rapidly from 10 to 30 minutes including the preparation time, so claustrophobic patients will be comfortable during the procedure compared to an MRI scan which may take about an hour.
Different Functionalities of CT Scanners:
CT machines can identify many conditions including the following:
- Cancer such as pancreatic, lung and liver cancers. It is also helpful to detect tumors due to cancer in various organs and helps with radiation therapy.
- Blood clots or Hemorrhage
- Can locate abnormal tissues and problems in bone, muscle and joints
- Internal bleeding
- Excess fluids
- Guide procedures such as biopsy, surgery.
- Detects and monitors heart disease, liver masses and lung nodules.
CT Scan Types Based on the Area of Scan:
There are several CT machines available in the market using which scans are performed in the following body parts either without any preparation or with IV and/or Oral contrast:
- CT Arthrography and Extremity CT to find issues in the extremities and joints such as elbow, shoulder, wrist, finger, hand, ankle, foot, hip, leg etc.
- Abdomen, Pelvis
- CT Colonography or virtual colonoscopy for colon/large intestine and associated cancer diagnosis.
- CT Enterography for small intestine/bowel.
- CT Head, Brain, Neck, Spine (Lumbar, Cervical, etc.), Sinus, Auditory canal
- CT Kidney, Bladder
- CT Chest, Lung
- Cardiac CT
- Abdomen, Pelvis
- CTA Angiography for blood vessels in the head, brain, neck, heart, etc.
- CT Biopsy to assist procedures in various organs, bone and soft tissue.
CT Scanner Types Based on Number of Slices:
Commonly used CT scan is spinning tube or helical or spiral CT in which an X-Ray spins around the area being scanned. This area in which the patient is placed for scanning is called gantry. During a CT scan, the gantry rotates and takes slices/images of the required organ.
CT Machines can be categorized on the slices per gantry rotation as follows:
- Single/Dual Slice type
Single slice CT scanners acquire one image per gantry rotation whereas dual slice type captures two images per rotation. These machines offer low image quality and longer scan duration as several rotations of the gantry is required to obtain slices of the entire scan area.
- Multi-Slice type
Multi-Slice CT machines offer better images in less time so they are helpful to scan claustrophobic and pediatric patients/children.
4, 6 or 8 Slice machines – Ideal for hospitals or locations with low-medium volume imaging.
16, 32 or 40 Slice machines – Ideal for high-volume imaging facilities and emergency screening because scans are done quite quickly compared to the low-slice models.
64 Slice machine – Similar to the previous type, these machines are used in high-volume and emergency locations where time is important. In addition, these machines are low-cost ideal scanners for CT Cardiac section.
- High slice type for CT Cardiac
Though a 64-slice machine can detect cardiac-related issues, high-end models like 128-, 256-, 320- and the 640-slice CT scanners can scan the entire body in much less time. They provide vivid 3D images of any organ in seconds. Because of their performance, these types are of the high price compared to the 64-slice and are used for critical cardiac-related diagnosis and research.
Cost of a CT Scanner:
The popular CT scanner brands are Philips, GE, Toshiba, Canon, Hitachi, Siemens. New CT scanners along with installation costs can range between $50,000 and $2.8 Million. The average cost of basic multi-slice scanners are as follows:
- 16- to 40- slice CT ranges from $90,000 to $160,000
- 64-slice CT ranges between $120,000 and $350,000 and can go up to $1 Million.
- A 256-slice machine can cost up to $2 Million, whereas a 320- slice can go high up to $25 Million and a 640-slice can go up to $2.8 Million.
In the current market, second hand medical equipment is offered for 50-80% lesser price than the new one and the OEM refurbished machines can be purchased for 30-40% lesser price. Following are the average prices of used machines:
- 16- to 40- slice CT ranges from $35,000 to $60,000
- 64-slice CT ranges between $90,000 and $130,000
- 256-slice and above starts from $250,000
High Quality CT Scanners from Amber Diagnostics:
Amber Diagnostics provides used and refurbished medical equipment such as MRIs, CT and RT machines, C-Arms, X-Rays across several countries. When you want to purchase a CT scanner for the first time, it is possible to get lost in the ocean of vendors and the type of CT machines. Amber Diagnostics guides you to choose the best CT scanner for you based on the patient volume and the scan requirements. Their equipment and maintenance costs are a lot affordable and they make sure that the quality of the products is not compromised in the name of price reduction. They offer branded CT machines from Philips, GE, Toshiba and Siemens.