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As part of Alvarado Hospital's investment in leading-edge technology, it is has acquired the Siemens 64-slice CT scanner, which is the most state-of-the-art scanner currently on the market.

"This CT scanner is sensational," said Rich Cranston, director, imaging services/cardiology. "The new scanner can be loaded with specialized software to customize scans for each specialty program, as well as run a whole-body scan in 30 seconds. In addition, it can perform a chest, abdominal and pelvis scan in 16 seconds and a complete coronary computed tomography angiogram in less than 10 seconds.

"This new addition to our imaging services provides our physicians and patients with the highest quality care,” Cranston continued. "Patients should find the overall exam with the new scanner to be more comfortable because it takes less time to be completed.”

The new scanner also has the ability to perform non-invasive testing for heart disease. It will be in addition to the current CT scanner, which will still be used on an as-needed basis. The CT scanner is just one of several imaging upgrades taking place. A new cardiac catherization lab with viewing theater will be installed in July 2010 and a 1.5 Tesla MRI to be installed in January 2011 as part of an overall technology "facelift."