64 vs 256 and 320 Slice CT Systems – Which Is Right for Your Center

by | Aug 5, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With the crisis affecting every industry that even the medical field has to do some cost-cutting, people in the industry are discussing the issue of whether or not there’s a real need for 256- or the 320-slice CT systems for cardiac imaging.

Many cardiologists and radiologists claim that a 64-slice system is good enough to make accurate cardiac diagnoses and that there is no need to spend twice more for higher-slice CY systems.  On the other side of the argument are practitioners who have already adopted either the 256- or the 320-slice systems, who claim that there’s no denying that the image quality is superior, and that leads to better diagnoses for CT angiography or CTA.

If you are on the fence about getting a higher-slice system, this post from DirectMed Parts should give you enough information to make a decision for your facility:


Do You Need Better Images from Cardiac CT to Make Accurate Diagnoses?

The debate over the need for newer technology happens every time there’s a new generation of CT released. And the truth is, there are conditions like arrhythmias, obesity, and others that make it harder for older generations of CTs to get clear images of. These conditions are the reason most medical facilities aspire to get the latest 256- or 310- slice CT systems.

These newer-gen CTs are significantly more expensive, but those who have tried them argue that they are worth their cost. They said that from the start of the test, it would be evident that they are indeed the superior CT.

For instance, the image quality you can get from a Toshiba Aquillion One 320- slice CT scan can deliver more accurate diagnoses and improved patient care. It can provide 16cm of the imaging area in a single rotation. This means it can take a clear image of the entire heart in one phase instead of having to take several images than having to stitch them together, which is basically what you have to do with a 64-slice scanner.

Another potential drawback of using the older 64-slice CTs is that they can’t deliver an image of the whole heart at once, and the top and bottom images are captured at different times.


More Clinical Evidence Is Necessary for Cardiac CT

There are many cardiologists who still believe 64-slice scanning is more than enough for cardiac imaging and that there has to be more clinical evidence to justify the need for a higher-slice (and higher cost) CT system.

Some cardiologists maintain that a higher-slice scanner is not the cure-all for CT artifacts as some might think it is, as beam-hardening and motion artifacts may still be visible with both a 256- and 320- slice system.


Changes in Reading CT Images

Many artifacts are caused by misalignments in 64-slice cardiac images. These have to be taken into account by radiologists and cardiologists. They say that a 320-slice scanner image eliminates these artifacts. What might have been thought of as an artifact with a 64- slice scanner can now be determined as an actual lesion with a 320- slice. There’s no reason to assume that those irregularities are artifacts.


The Return on Investment from a New CT System

High-volume hospitals and centers would get ROI easier compared to smaller centers. When their new CT scanner takes anywhere between 50 to 60 images a day, it’s easy to cover the cost of the new CT system. The same cannot be said for smaller facilities, though.

There are other costs to be considered, too, like the cost of training people to run the new CT or to hire someone who knows how to use it. You probably would need new post-processing software, too.



So, do you think your center needs the newer CT systems, or is your trusted 64-slice CT system enough? The only one who can tell for sure is still you. Your team is the only one who can determine whether it’s going to be a worthy investment or not.

For many, a properly working cardiac CT is enough to make a reliable and accurate diagnosis. That’s why many centers rely on reputable experts like DirectMed Parts and Services to provide them with the best CT parts and expert repair services.

It can’t be denied that they are the better imaging systems but are they 100% necessary? That’s something for you to think about.


Meanwhile, maintenance of the CT system that you have is of utmost importance. Trust only DirectMed Parts and Services for MRI and CT parts and coils that you might need to keep your equipment working properly. Contact us to know more about our services!


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