Last Updated on
June 13, 2023
Computed tomography (CT) is a type of medical imaging technology that takes a series of X-rays from different angles around your body and uses a computer to process them and create cross-sectional images or slices of the soft tissues, bones, and blood vessels inside your body.
These CT images provide more information than regular X-rays and are regularly used in healthcare. A CT scanner is a machine that takes detailed images or scans and processes them into slices.
CT scanners have several uses, making them well-suited to examine people who have internal injuries or have suffered other types of trauma. You can use a CT scan to visualize nearly every part of the body, diagnose disease or injury, or plan medical treatments, including surgery.
Using CT scanners helps reduce the need for invasive procedures because the imaging equipment allows a detailed glimpse into the body without resorting to surgery.
A single-slice CT scanner can acquire one image per rotation. A scanner with more slices takes a CT scan much faster. Multi-slice scanners make it easier to examine small children or weak elderly patients who cannot lie still for long. Though multiple-slice CT machines have become the industry norm, the single-slice machine remains a valuable component and is expected to be around for quite some time.
A 2-slice CT scanner is a type of medical imaging equipment that uses X-rays to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the body. The term “2-slice” refers to the machine’s number of X-ray detectors, which determines the number of slices (or impressions) it can produce with each scan.
With two detectors, the CT scanner can produce two images per scan. This CT scanner is commonly used for basic imaging exams and provides good image quality for many applications.
The same principle applies to 4-slice, 6-slice, or 8-slice CT scanners. Depending on the number of detectors, a CT scanner can produce a certain number of images per scan. When an 8-slice CT scanner is being used, it can generate eight images per scan.
32 to 40-slice CT scanners offer shorter examination times than 16-slices and have a reduced likelihood of motion artifacts.
A 64-slice scanner has significantly improved CT angiography and is recommended for cardiac studies performed before or after a heart attack. The speed and sensitivity of these scanners allow doctors to see how well the heart is contracting while viewing the walls of the arteries and observing tiny vessels and arterial branches. These machines can produce an exceptionally sharp image of even the finest details, significantly reducing scan time.
Premium scanners with 128 slices or more are typically found in specialty practices with high patient volumes. These scanners are designed to produce high-quality images of any organ and typically come with specialty software packages.
Mobile versions of CT scanners are also available, which is convenient for various circumstances. If your CT room is undergoing renovation or maintenance, you can rent or lease a portable CT. If you serve a low patient population at different sites, you can move the CT scanner to each location as required for a limited period instead of acquiring multiple CT machines.
The average cost of a CT system varies widely based on several factors, such as the manufacturer, the number of slices, the speed of image reconstruction, and the included software. Some of the top manufacturers include Toshiba, Siemens, and Philips.
When choosing which CT scanner to lease, it’s essential to consider the number of data slices and the length of coverage in one rotation.
The rotation time of the tube and the detectors surrounding the patient affect the overall scan time. Though most exams do not require the smallest slice width, CT scanning systems with a higher slice count of thinner slices in a single rotation can handle more complex exams and diverse patient populations.
Scanners that achieve rotation times of less than 0.3 seconds are best for cardiac scanning to minimize image artifacts caused by heart motion. 0.5-second rotations are adequate for general body scanning, while one-second rotation times are good enough for head scanning.
CT scanners differ based on the speed of image reconstruction. Additional slices aren’t beneficial if the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan are delayed by slow image reconstruction.
However, buying a high-specification computer is worth it if it is well-used. Another consideration is how the images will be interpreted, manipulated, and managed.
Software and hardware features can also add a significant amount of money to the price tag, ranging from $35,000 to $100,000 for a cardiac software suite or $15,000 to $35,000 for the lung application. That’s why it’s essential to be well aware of your clinical requirements in the type of studies your facility will perform before deciding which to acquire.
X-ray tubes are another cost to consider, ranging from $40,000 to $200,000 as an add-on cost.
Note that these costs do not include the additional fees for service and support as part of the total cost of obtaining the equipment. You also need to factor in maintenance, electricity, and operational costs.