A new cardiac CT scanner has recently been installed at Jersey General Hospital. The high-definition scanner is one of the first of its type to be installed in Britain and allows the heart arteries to be examined in minute detail. Until now, patients have had to travel to the UK for a more invasive procedure, where small tubes are inserted into a patient’s heart arteries in a procedure called a coronary angiogram. The new CT scanner provides a high quality 3-dimensional reconstruction of the heart arteries in a procedure that takes less than 15 minutes and with minimal radiation dose.
“Cardiovascular disease is the commonest cause of death in the British Isles and is more common in those who smoke, those who have high blood pressure and those who have a family history of heart disease. Women are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from breast cancer. Over half of patients who die from coronary heart disease have no warning symptoms before their death,” says Consultant Cardiologist Dr Andrew Mitchell.
63-year-old retired air-traffic controller, Jim Buckley was one of the first patients to benefit from the new CT scanner. He attended for a routine medical with his GP but his heart trace was slightly abnormal. Following a consultation and cardiac tests with Dr Mitchell, a cardiac CT scan was arranged with Dr Chris Hare, Director of Radiology. The scan showed that there was a very tight blockage in the left heart artery and Mr Buckley was transferred to Oxford for urgent balloon and stent treatment to the narrowed artery.
“The image quality of the new scanner is amazing and for the first time allows us to look inside patient’s heart arteries with incredible resolution. Mr Buckley was a keen runner and it is entirely possible that without this test and treatment he would have suffered a fatal heart attack,” says Dr Mitchell.
Dr Hare commented, “As well as all the usual body imaging services, our new CT scanner is being used for patients with suspected coronary artery narrowing and will hopefully reduce the need for patients to travel off-Island for more invasive and expensive tests. This new scanner will also therefore help save money as well as saving lives”.
“Dr Andrew Mitchell, Dr Nic Scott (radiologist) and I have set up this service combining, for the first time in Jersey, our imaging expertise with Andrew’s clinical skills to provide a weekly gold standard cardiac CT clinic in the Radiology Department.”