By Sarah Klein
A new facility opened in Winnipeg Monday to allow for non-invasive imaging to examine the metabolic activity in the brain, heart, liver, tumors and muscle tissue, known as Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
The cyclotron facility at the Health Sciences Centre will allow the hospital to double its own isotope capacity and not rely on outside supply. Isotopes used in the PET / CT scanner were previously flown in from Edmonton each day, but with the city’s own facility, HSC will also be able to reduce the need to reschedule patient appointments as a result of flight delays, and allow the scanner to be used for a greater variety procedures.
“We were thrilled the day the planes were grounded, so to speak,” said Dr. Sandor Demeter, Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging at HSC. “Now that we can produce the radioisotopes on site, we don’t have to worry about weather or shipment delays so we can provide a more patient-friendly experience, particularly for people who have travelled a long way for these tests.”
In addition, the cyclotron enables researchers at HSC to explore and develop new applications for diagnosis and treatment of diseases like Alzheimer’s and congestive heart failure.