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Veterinary Hospital

Faculty of Veterinary Science acquires state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment

By Prof R Kirberger; Sr S Johnson; CvB

Posted on 27 March 2008

On Thursday 27 March 2007, the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital (OVAH), of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, officially celebrated the recent commissioning of a computed radiography system, CT scanner and gamma camera

The new state-of-the-art equipment will enable the Faculty to remain internationally competitive in the training of under- and post graduate students as well as in any research utilizing such imaging modalities. Postgraduate students who train to become veterinary radiologists, are registered as specialists by the SA Veterinary Council, and in addition, are entitled to write European exams, as the Diagnostic Imaging section of the OVAH is an approved training centre for the European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging.

First to arrive was the computed radiography system which replaced the conventional system of producing and developing hard copy films.  All x-ray, ultrasound, CT and scintigraphy images generated within the OVAH are now in digital format, except for those required for teaching manual processing (utilized in general private practice).  The images are stored on a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) wherefrom they can be accessed and evaluated by radiologists on high resolution monitors. Both images and reports are then immediately available to clinical staff and students via the faculty network, allowing them to be viewed on any computer on campus. The computed radiology system is a Fuji system installed by AXIM (Africa X-ray Industrial and Medical).

Towards the end of 2007 a Siemens Emotion Dual slice scanner was installed, which utilizes the latest spiral CT technology.  The scanner is unusual in that it is the first sliding gantry table in South Africa (the circular gantry which contains the rotating X-ray tube, slides over the patient, rather than the norm where the patient slides into the gantry). This special design was commissioned to enable examination of heads and limbs of horses.

In early March 2008 a new gamma camera was installed to replace the aging nuclear medicine equipment previously in use, and a small dedicated nuclear medicine facility was created.  The gamma camera was supplied by MIE (Medical Imaging Electronics) of Germany, and installed by Replamed SA.

With the latest diagnostic imaging equipment at its disposal, the Faculty of Veterinary Science foresees being able to provide highly accurate and sophisticated diagnoses across the broad range of domestic and production animals, as well as exotics and wildlife, that makes up the annual patient load.

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The Scintigraphy Unit with the newly installed gamma camera

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