The Pellenberg campus of the University Hospitals Leuven has recently taken a new x-ray device for the skeleton into operation: the EOS imaging system is capable of executing 3D analyses, accurately portraying disorders in the spine and in the lower limbs. Moreover, the radiation dose is significantly lower than in traditional x-ray images. This is an important advantage, especially for children with a congenital disorder that need to be monitored regularly with medical imaging.
In the EOS imaging system, the patient takes place in a cubible, either standing up, or sitting down while simultaneously two perpendicular x-rays are made. Processing these images makes it possible to measure distances and angles between anatomic structures in 3D and in a more accurate way than using the 2D information of classic x-ray images.
Standing up or sitting down
Professor Guy Molenaers, orthopedic surgeon, also points to the importance of having the patient standing up or sitting down to do the imaging, as opposed to lying down: “This gives us an insight in the forces that the spine is exposed to and we are able to better evaluate the exact proportions between the spine, hip, knee and other parts of the skeleton. This makes preparing surgery easier as we can determine in advance where a correction or fixation is required, based on the images.”
Also innovative is the type of detector being used for the imaging. All of the technical innovations contribute to a substantial reduction in radiation. The makes the appliance interesting for regular radiological check-ups necessary for diagnosis and therapy planning. This is e.g. the case for congenital disorders. These children need to be monitored closely during their growth.
Spine and lower limbs
The EOS X-ray device can be used in abnormalities of the spine and of the lower limbs, both in children and adults.
Second device later this year
At the moment there is one device on the Pellenberg campus of the University Hospitals Leuven. In the course of 2015, a second device will be put into operation on the Gasthuisberg campus.