This health video focuses on the amazing technology now available for CT scans.
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Jennifer Matthews: Nancy Kaman has a mystery illness, suffering from an inexplicable fever. Doctors are getting a look inside, with a powerful new CT scanner. Like older models, this CT scanner takes cross-sectional pictures of the body using X-rays and detectors. What's different is its speed. In the 70's, it used to take five minutes to take one rotation. Dr. Vassilios Raptopoulos: In the early 90s, we went down to one second per one rotation, and towards the late 1990s, we went to about, about half a second for four slices in one rotation. Jennifer Matthews: With this new scanner, doctors can now take 64 slices every half second. The new scanner is so fast that it can basically freeze the motion of the heart. And because it's quick, patients don't seem to mind. Dr. Vassilios Raptopoulos: The other advantage for them is the diagnosis is much more accurate. So you get a better result. Jennifer Matthews: The scanner can quickly solve cases like Nancy's. Dr. Vassilios Raptopoulos: Here we have an area of increased density, which is probably some infectious exudates, some material that is probably causing her the fever. Jennifer Matthews: Nancy says getting the diagnosis was easier than she thought. Nancy Kaman: No pain. I mean, it was wonderful, I had 100 percent comfort. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors say the speed of the scanner will help them unravel more medical mysteries, one scan at a time. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.