News Release

June 25, 2009

Contact: Chris DeFrancesco, 860-679-3914

Major Upgrade for UConn Health Center CT Scan

High-Tech Advancement Enables Faster, More Precise Imaging

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Unprecedented precision, speed and patient comfort characterize the new computerized tomography (CT) scanner at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

“Ultimately it leads to real, significant improvements in patient care,” says Dr. Douglas Fellows, chairman of the Health Center’s Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Therapeutics. “It means better care for today’s patients in that it captures so much more in so much less time and can be performed with less radiation exposure to the patient. And it means better care for tomorrow’s patients by way of both educational applications and as a research tool to advance the science of medicine.”

The new CT scanner uses what’s known as “dual-source and dual-energy” technology, in which two sources of radiation are used to acquire information that is used to create a complex cross-sectional and three-dimensional image of a patient’s internal anatomy. Scans that used to take 30 seconds or more now take five seconds or less, making it easier on the patient while at the same time yielding the most precise images available. The dual-energy component allows for the accurate subtraction of portions of the images that may obstruct the view of other structures, such as the skull when imaging the blood vessels within the head. These technological advances give physicians, particularly cardiologists and oncologists, sophisticated images not previously available.

For example, the new scanner is fast enough to capture an image between heartbeats, eliminating the need for the patient to take beta blockers to slow and stabilize his or her heart rate. It also benefits patients with cancer by obtaining images with the least amount of radiation in the shortest amount of time without sacrificing quality.

The UConn Health Center is using a $3.8 million gift from Torrington natives Carole and Ray Neag to invest in upgrades in its diagnostic, planning and treatment services designed to enhance patient care, especially in the areas of cardiology and cancer. The new CT scanner is the first installment in a series that also will include a high-dose radiation system and a CT simulator. The Neags have donated more than $42 million to the university.

Caption: Sabine Bredefeld, lead CT/MR technologist at the UConn Health Center, operates the Health Center’s new computerized tomography (CT) scanner, which captures diagnostic images with previously unavailable speed, precision and patient comfort.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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