Media Release: Lothian patients first in Scotland to benefit from pioneering body scanner

PATIENTS in Lothian have become some of the first in Europe and the first in Scotland to benefit from a pioneering full body scanner, which combines two clinical tests in one scan.

The combined gamma camera/CT imaging system allows quicker and more accurate diagnosis of a range of conditions and has been running at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh since October 2010.

Begins a spokesperson: “The state-of-the-art new equipment, which has been developed by GE Healthcare, helps with quicker diagnosis and monitoring for a range of patients, including some cancer patients, cardiology patients and some bone conditions.

“Only two other hospitals in the UK, in Kent and Cornwall, have so far taken delivery of a GE Discovery NM/CT 670 scanner, and the Western General Hospital is the first in Scotland to benefit from the equipment.”

Patients are injected with a radioactive isotope before being scanned by the gamma camera to pinpoint any abnormal area of uptake of the isotope in the body.

The multislice CT scanner is then used to image these areas of and produce 3D images for detailed examination.

The new technology means patients can now get quicker diagnosis in a single hospital visit rather than having two separate scanning appointments.

By combining both scans in one, clinicians are able to offer quicker and more accurate diagnoses.

Patient, Derek Lemon, 72, currently undergoes kidney dialysis twice a week, and has undergone a nuclear health check before being placed on the transplant list.

Derek, who is retired and has two grandchildren, said: “This is a brilliant new facility and I was very impressed with the way I was treated by the staff.

“I get dialysis two days a week and it takes a lot out of your life, so it’s great that I can now get the combined scan and I don’t have to spend as long in hospital getting different tests done.”

Dr Paul Allan, clinical director of Radiology, NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted to be the first in Scotland to offer this kind of imaging technology.

“By combining both the gamma camera and the CT systems we are now able to locate areas of disease more quickly and to speed up the whole process, allowing the Nuclear Medicine team to scan and diagnose a higher number of patients each day.

“A great deal of work has gone into the new scanner unit to ensure that it is as comfortable as possible for our patients and we are extremely proud of the standard of the facilities that we are able to provide.”

Bettina Fitt, UK general manager, GE Healthcare, said: “This scanner represents some of our latest technology.

“It is helping doctors in Lothian provide improved and quicker, more efficient treatment and monitoring for patients. We are delighted that the Western General was one of the first hospitals to decide to take up this technology.

“Since then, a good number of hospitals around Europe have followed its lead, but its early adoption by NHS Lothian does mark it out as an innovator in the UK and beyond. “

Since it was installed at the end of October 2010, over 1,000 patients have already benefited from this pioneering equipment.

Notes for editors:

About GE Healthcare in Scotland

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, and biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine new ways to predict, diagnose, inform and treat disease, so their patients can live their lives to the fullest.

GE Healthcare in Scotland has over 40 dedicated staff working in all of the areas mentioned, in addition our performance solutions team are working with over 60 per cent of the Health Boards in Scotland to help identify areas of improvement and productivity therefore maximising health boards’ return on investment in healthcare spending.


Aileen MacArthur
acting communications manager
0131 465 5646

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