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CBS Philly
05 April 2012
Philadelphia, US

First–of–it's–kind technology is giving local doctors a better look inside the body, with significantly less radiation. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more.

This isn't your typical x–ray system. In just seconds, 9–year–old Jessica Molen, who has scoliosis, gets scans of her spine.

“It's really cool,” said Jessica.

It’s called the EOS Low–Dose 3–D Imaging System. It takes snapshots of the backbone simultaneously from different angles, unlike traditional x–ray. Typically there’s no need for repeat shots.

“For the littler kids who are scared of what’s going to happen, it will be quicker and easier for them to go through,” said Jessica.

It’s not only faster and better for the patient. The images are more clear for doctors, allowing them to see the spine and other bones in 3–D for the first time.

"This is clearly the biggest advance in imaging that we’ve had for the spine I would say since the advent of x–rays in 1890,” said Dr. Suken Shah, the Chief of Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children’s Spine and Scoliosis Center. He says they are the first hospital in our area to offer the new technology, which is especially helpful with scoliosis.

“We can actually see that three dimensional twist. We can see the rotation. We can see what it’s doing to the ribs, to the lungs, to the chest wall, and we don’t have to interpret it or guess. This is very important in treating patients surgically,” said Dr. Shah.

Doctors can now better plan surgeries, and they anticipate better outcomes.

Children with scoliosis need to frequently get x–rays, which exposes them to radiation. This new scan significantly reduces exposure.

“An x–ray in this machine is any where from 90 percent to half the radiation you would get from a normal x–ray machine. So it’s win, win. We get better pictures and we expose our children to less radiation,” said Dr. Shah.

Jessica now wears a back brace to keep her scoliosis in check. The Molen’s are thrilled with the benefits of the new scanner.

"We're really excited to have the opportunity. I think for lower dosage and as well as a better tool for the physician," said Kevin Molen, Jessica's dad.

The scanner isn't just used for scoliosis. Doctors say it can be used on other parts of the body.

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