Bellvitge Hospital uses the latest technologies to study brain diseases

Bellvitge Hospital uses the latest technologies to study brain diseases

Bellvitge Hospital has integrated a team of positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (PET/RM) that allows the study of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy or brain tumors, in more than oncology, cardiology and minority diseases.

This facility is pioneering in Spain and, together with the multidisciplinary staff, allows an outstanding diagnosis to be provided with a single test. The Center, in collaboration with GE HealthCare, organized a day in which the paradigm shift represented by the team was analyzed.

It is the first technology of this type for healthcare purposes installed in a Spanish public center and one of the first in Europe whose application is not limited to one specialty or limited to one specialty, but is open to all diseases that can benefit from it.

PET/RM, the result of a charitable donation from the Daniel Bravo Andrew Private Foundation, began operating gradually in November 2022 and primarily served patients at Bellvitge Hospital. Its progressive activity has also allowed the review and improvement of protocols and circuits of care for both professionals and patients.

Clinical Director of the Diagnostic Imaging Department at Bellvitge Hospital, Nahum Calvo, believes that the new equipment puts the center on an equal footing with the most advanced countries in this field and confirms that “The fact that this is the first public health PET/MR test that is completely aid-oriented has given us the responsibility to open pathways in terms of usage protocols, training and information to the medical community about its benefits.”.

“PET/MR technology opens the door to more precise management of many patients, improves health outcomes and optimizes the resources of the Catalan public system.”As Nahum Calvo sees it.

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For her part, the coordinator of nuclear medicine-PET at Bellvitge Hospital, Montserrat Curtis, points out that this innovative technology is difficult to interpret, which is why the cooperation of doctors from different specialties is necessary. “This collaboration allows us to clarify many uncertainties and supports a more accurate diagnosis.”Curtis explains.

PET/MR is a sophisticated piece of equipment that combines into one scan the most powerful diagnostic imaging tools in medicine today: positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The combination of both systems with multidisciplinary teamwork makes it possible to provide an excellent diagnosis with a single test.

Positron emission tomography involves introducing a small amount of radioactive material (marker) into the body which, as it circulates, allows the functional and metabolic properties of the explored area to be seen and analyzed. MRI, on the other hand, uses powerful magnets that organize atoms and make it possible to diagnose diseases based on their atomic structure. Combining both tools shows functional, molecular as well as structural properties in a single result.

In this way, the same or better results can be achieved with one examination compared to two tests: positron emission tomography plus computed tomography (PET/CT) and MRI. This fact, in addition to providing a faster and more accurate diagnosis, provides greater convenience for the patient and saves costs for the healthcare system in the medium term.

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