The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

High-tech £650,000 scanner brings more world-leading technology to St James’s

5 February 2015

Patients at St James’s University Hospital are now benefitting from an extremely advanced new £650,000 SPECT-CT scanner which can improve the speed and accuracy of diagnosis for a range of conditions.

The equipment, installed in the Nuclear Medicine Department in the hospital’s Bexley Wing, utilises two different types of scans. The images taken of a patient’s body are then fused together to provide specialists at the hospital with more accurate information to aid diagnosis and decide on treatment plans.

SPECT-CT is already in use at Leeds General Infirmary, but the new machine at St James’s benefits from recent technological advances so is the most modern of its kind currently in use globally.

As a result, the hospital will also be a demonstration centre and host visits from other hospitals in the UK and Europe.

Dr Fahmid Chowdhury, Consultant Radiologist and Clinical Lead for Nuclear Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “This new scanner offers our team a tremendous opportunity to improve the experience of our patients.

“The principal advantage is the potential to improve the accuracy of diagnosis, reducing the need for patients to undergo multiple scans. In addition the time taken to undertaken a scan can be reduced by at least 25%, which is more comfortable for the patient while also producing clearer images.

“It is still early days for us to realise the potential of this new technology, and we will be auditing the benefits carefully as we gain more awareness of it in practice and expect its use to grow over time.”

Overall the department sees about 9000 patients every year, and it is expected that around 1000 patients a year will have conditions which can most benefit from this highly specialised new equipment.

As well as being utilised for scans of patients with cancer, the technology is also useful for improving diagnosis of a variety of other conditions, such as orthopaedic and endocrine problems.