Imaging Receives New Equipment

The addition of a PET/CT in the cardiology department on the campus of North Kansas City Hospital means earlier cancer diagnosis, the identification of cardiac issue more conclusively, more timely results and less exposure to radiation.

Cardiac Applications

PET_CTThe addition of a PET/CT scanner consolidates imaging services and brings advanced imaging capabilities for diagnosing cardiac conditions. Similar to nuclear SPECT imaging, cardiac PET/CT is used in stress testing to look for, and quantify, myocardial ischemia and infarction.

Nuclear SPECT imaging, while well validated in clinical trials, is known to have significant limitations. This is especially true in obese patients, who frequently have less accurate results due to tissue attenuation of the gamma radiation used in SPECT imaging. PET/CT overcomes these issues due to more powerful photons, and using a CT attenuation map to correct for attenuated radiation. This creates clearer images, with more diagnostic accuracy, at a lower radiation dose to the patient."


Stephen Gimple, MD

“The PET/CT scanner allows for more accurate, noninvasive cardiac imaging that helps us better identify patients with coronary disease and better select patients who can benefit from a cardiac catheterization,” explains Stephen Gimple, MD, with Meritas Health Cardiology. “This increased accuracy has been shown to decrease costs and improve outcomes.”



Oncology Applications


Johnson Underwood, MD

With over a decade of expertise in effective of use of PET/CT, physicians at North Kansas City Hospital can diagnose disease at an early stage. The PET/CT provides both functional and anatomical studies in one test. Johnson Underwood, MD, with Northland Radiology, Inc. says, “The PET/CT provides anatomical localization and the injection of radioisotopes enables the computer to match the two scans so we can see abnormal cellular biology and activity, allowing detection at an even earlier stage. This is a life- saving tool.” 

The PET/CT is also critical for the staging of cancer. Proper staging allows for more appropriate treatment, which predicts prognosis and improves quality of care. Additionally, having the scanner on campus facilitates prompt scheduling of tests, resulting in less patient anxiety.

PET Image“Early diagnosis allows every opportunity to overcome and minimize the disease process, and the PET/CT continues to be used throughout treatment to monitor treatment effectiveness and success. The Hospital’s partnership with the University of Kansas Cancer Center offers the Northland and Northwest Missouri patients world class oncology expertise,” says Dr. Underwood.

Additional Benefits: The new PET/CT unit features a large gantry opening that accommodates all patient types and helps to minimize claustrophobia. It also significantly reduces radiation exposure as compared to SPECT. In addition to cardiac and oncology uses, the PET/CT has application in neurology, including diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

To learn more, call 816-691-5201.