A DUAL scanning system has been introduced at Forth Valley Royal Hospital to enhance diagnosis for cancer, urology and endocrine patients.

The sate-of-the-art Siemens Symbia Pro.specta system will increase the accuracy of scans, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnoses with patients to benefit from access to faster examinations, shorter appointment times and less need for repeat visits.

The machine uses nuclear single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) technology with a gamma ray camera to scan patients who have been injected with a harmless radioisotope.

This is combined with a 360-degree CT scan to create detailed imaging of structure and physiology.

The patient receives the CT scan immediately after the gamma ray scan, whereas previously they would have to wait a few hours or even days for the subsequent CT scan.

The quality of the images is significantly enhanced by keeping the patient in exactly the same position for both scans.

Artificial intelligence then superimposes the images from both scans to create a more accurate and detailed report for diagnosis.

It means tumours and lesions can be pinpointed with more detail which may result in less invasive surgery and therefore better recovery.

Jennifer Gilchrist, radiology services manager at NHS Forth Valley, said: “This is a leading-edge system that brings significant benefits for patients by enhancing the quality of images and information for optimum diagnosis while also reducing the time spent at appointments and need for extra visits.

“In addition, Forth Valley patients who previously had to travel to Glasgow for conditions such as neuro-endocrine tumours now have access to this specialised service locally, which makes a huge difference to them and speeds up treatment.”