San Luis Rey Equine Hospital, in Bonsall, California, has announced that it has added computed tomography (CT) to its advanced diagnostic imaging capabilities.

Computed tomography uses very small X ray beams from many different angles around the body (called a slice) that are transmitted to a computer program, which produces a high-quality image. Images can be manipulated to render 3-D reconstructions from 2-D slices, which can aid in diagnosing and treating ailments.

The CT unit at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital can accommodate large body parts relative to the majority of CT units available for medical or veterinary use; the unit’s gantry (the donut-shaped part of the CT scanner) measures 85 centimeters in diameter compared the commonly used 60 centimeter diameter gantry.

[image imageid="5355" includeTitle="false" includeSummary="false"]A 3-D reconstruction of a horse’s skull.[/image]

San Luis Rey Equine Hospital is the first veterinary hospital to make use of this portable CT unit. The BodyTom from Samsung is currently used at a number of human hospitals in a variety of different applications including in the operating room, diagnostic units, and emergency departments.

Given the portability and size of this CT system, veterinarians can image large anatomical regions, including the entire equine neck, which has been examined most commonly via radiography due to patient size. Additionally, the unit will allow practitioners to perform myelograms (imaging studies used to visualize spinal cord compression) with CT.

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