Neurology Lab Advanced Technology
The Providence Regional Neuroscience Center offers some of the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment including:
High-Speed CT Imaging
CT (Computed Tomography) scans take images of the body from different angles, then use a computer to create 3-dimensional images that help physicians with diagnosis. With the introduction of the 64-slice CT scanner, more images can be gathered in far less time and at a higher resolution. As a result physicians have higher quality images, and more of them, to use during diagnosis. For the brain, this high-speed CT scan is typically used to diagnose bleeding, brain injury or skull fractures.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency pulses and a computer to create images of the body – including the brain and spine. Physicians with the Providence Neuroscience Center have access to several types of MR machines. These include:
- Functional MRI (fMRI) – This relatively new technique measures tiny metabolic changes that take place in the active brain. As a result, fMRI shows not only an anatomical view of the brain, but minute-to-minute recording of actual brain activity. Such information can help physicians monitor the growth of brain tumors; detect abnormalities that can’t be seen with other imaging techniques; and detect stroke at a very early stage in order to initiate earlier treatments.
- MR Spectroscopy – This imaging technology measures the chemistry of the brain, allowing physicians to tell if changes are happening inside brain tissue.
- 1.5-tesla and 3.0-tesla MRI – Magnets in an MRI are rated based on the "tesla" unit of measurement. Providence’s MRI machines are rated 1.5-tesla and 3.0-tesla. The 3.0-tesla is particularly helpful in evaluating brain conditions because it takes faster, higher-quality images that reveal subtle anatomic details.
Angiogram and Interventional Angiography
An angiogram is a type of diagnostic X-ray that involves injecting a special dye into a vein to highlight blood vessels. It is frequently used to pinpoint the precise location of blockage or bleeding in the brain.
Interventional angiography is a similar procedure, but focuses on treatment rather than diagnosis. With interventional angiography, a small stent is guided via catheter through the body to the affected blood vessel, which it opens and inflates.
Pentero Surgical Microscope
The ability to see sharp images, fine details and natural colors is vital when operating on delicate areas of the body, such as the brain or spine. With the aid of Zeiss OPMI Pentero surgical microscopes, neurosurgeons can operate with pinpoint precision. The microscope’s powerful illumination and magnification capabilities enable surgeons to see small blood vessels and cranial nerves, as well as areas of the brain that are difficult to access and operate on such as the skull base. Neurosurgeons are using the microscope with almost all types of brain surgeries, tumor removal and spinal cases, and it is particularly helpful in performing aneurysm surgery.
Operating Room Advances
Providence St. Peter Hospital recently opened two new surgical suites, part of a $13 million dollar expansion project to add operating rooms (OR), emergency center treatment rooms and acute care beds. Neurosurgeons, and their patients, will benefit from new OR features such as:
- The ability to rotate all equipment 360-degrees (thanks to 50 percent fewer cords than traditional OR suites).
- An equipment “boom” that holds all laparascopic (minimally invasive) surgery equipment in one mount.
- An anesthesia “boom” that holds all the needed plug-ins for extra equipment, anesthetic gases and the anesthesia machine.
- The StrykeCan In-Light Surgical Camera, which is the first of its kind to offer a dual channel recording device, allowing for lighted image recording and capture.