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Whitfield Regional Hospital implements PET-CT scan services

Whitefield Regional Hospital recently began offering PET-CT scans to patients through its mobile unit. 

Patients with an oncologist’s order take a 45-minute scan that is interpreted by a radiologist within 24-hours of the scan. The scans look at the organs and tissues to determine if they are working properly and if there is anything abnormal happening inside the body.

When the PET is mixed with the CT, it produces a multi-dimensional image that shows the organs and how they are functioning. The information obtained results from a collection of x-rays that combine into an image from the scan that shows where there is extra cell activity within the body. Cancer patients benefit greatly from these scans as it allows doctors to detect cancer and track its progression. Scans also help in forming treatment plans, biopsies, and radiation therapy.

“What they’re looking for in the organs and tissues is, number one, if they’re working correctly and, number two, if there’s anything going on inside the body,” said John Reindeau, WRH Radiology Director.

Previously, patients have gone to Meridian, Tuscaloosa or Birmingham receive such scans.

“This saves patients who are not in good health anyway to have to make that drive,” said Sherry Barrett, an oncology patient who receives PET-CT scans. “This is a load off.”

“It’s a great service to have, especially in this community,” Radiologist John Reindeau said. “No one wants to drive an hour. A lot of smaller towns don’t have the capabilities of doing that, so it’s pretty awesome to be able to do it here.”

The scans are useful for several different medical disciplines, such as cardiology, urology and oncology. 

The mobile unit is located on the east side of the hospital between radiology and home health. It comes every other Friday and is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.