The constantly developing technologies have made it possible for computed tomography to be performed with lower amounts of radiation and contrast agents. As the side effects of the method decrease in this way, its use in the field of conservation medicine increases.
Currently, Computed Tomography (CT) is a life-saving method which is very beneficial in diagnosis. The radiation and the intravenously administered contrast agent involved in the use of this method enables the blood vessels and organs to be viewed much better and ensures for certain potential pathologies to be detected more precisely. However, the long term effects of the radiation to which patients are exposed to have become questionable lately. When using diagnostic methods, it is essential to choose the ones which will yield maximum information with minimum adverse effects on the patient. Doctor Cengiz Bavbek, a radiologist at Acıbadem Maslak Hospital, states that due to this perspective, the research on CT is intended to minimize use of radiation and contrast agents.
The intravenously administered drugs, which are referred to as contrast agents, entail the possibility of causing problems in the kidneys. These drugs, which are given to patients to ensure better image quality and rapid diagnosis of any potential pathologies, are excreted by means of the kidneys. The kidneys of those who are susceptible to renal diseases and the kidneys of seniors which have become exhausted can be affected adversely during this process. It is particularly essential to be careful when administering these drugs to hospitalized patients, cancer patients and patients whose immune system has weakened due to various reasons. All these risks can limit the use of CT. Somatom Force, which is a new generation CT device that is described as “kidney-friendly”, is much safer to use in patients with kidney problems for whom CT is a must.
Doctor Cengiz Bavbek says, “The rapid process speed of Somatom Force makes it possible for us to acquire high quality images with low radiation in a very short time, without having to resort to sedation, particularly in infants and children”.
THE GOAL IS TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS FROM DISEASES
Stating that the approach to medicine throughout the world is gradually becoming more conservation-oriented, Doctor Bavbek says, “Our goal now is to prevent diseases and determine the potential of development of a disease. Research for these purposes is currently being conducted in the field of radiology as well. The developments in CT verify this. For instance, we now use lung tomography instead of chest radiography and produce cross-sectional, three-dimensional images to detect small lesions that can cause problems in the future. We acquire higher quality results without exposing the patient to high amounts of radiation”.
It is also possible to perform Coronary CT Angiography, which involves a very low risk of radiation, on patients who are susceptible to risk factors despite having no known illnesses. The procedures performed within the scope of conservation medicine are intended to diagnose diseases at an early stage and prevent them from progressing. Doctor Cengiz Bavbek says, “We can also safely use the method on people who have known, progressive diseases and require frequent tomography scans with long durations”.