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Instant scans to improve diagnosis

29th October 2010

A new £20m imaging facility is to be opened in Edinburgh to improve diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

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The Clinical Research Imaging Centre is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian and is based at the university's Medical Research Institute in the Little France area of Edinburgh.

It features a high strength magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner; the world’s most advanced computerised tomography (CT) scanner to scan entire organs such as the heart or brain in less than a second; and a CT-positron emission tomography (PET/CT) scanner to identify the spread of cancer using tracers created by a cyclotron and radiochemistry laboratories on-site.

The centre is due to be opened by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Professor Edwin Van Beek, director of the Clinical Research Imaging Centre, said: "There have been dramatic advances in imaging over the past decade, changing the way we look at disease and our understanding of the biological processes involved.

"As opposed to simply looking at the structures of the body - such as the heart and the brain - we can look at how organs are functioning in real time.

"This will not only help us better understand disease but it will help us to improve both diagnosis and treatments."

Head of Research and Development for NHS Lothian, Professor David Newby, said the new centre will bring together the latest imaging technologies in a single facility allowing a “major improvement” in the centre’s ability to investigate and understand “the most serious and distressing diseases” in patients.

 

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