New way to look inside the body

December 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It's being called the biggest advance in imaging for the spine since the invention of x-rays in 1890.

Kate Gordon has high hopes for a career in sports.

"Play soccer for the Olympics, yeah in that category," said Kate .

Then she found out she had scoliosis.

"Like do I need surgery? What will happen in the future?" Kate said.

Kids like Kate need to get two x-rays a year to monitor their spines until they stop growing. Her mom was concerned about excessive radiation.

"Especially since she hadn't entered her growth spurt yet, they were wanting to follow it closely," Anne Gordon, Kate's mom, said.

That's where this technology comes in.

"It's the biggest development in x-rays since the invention of x-rays," said Dr. Suken A. Shah from Nemours Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE.

The EOS) imaging system takes a full body scan in minutes and emits up t0 90 percent less radiation than a traditional CT scan.

"It might prevent their chance of having a malignancy as an adult," Dr. Shah said.

The machine gives physicians the ability to study Kate's spine in 3-D, allowing them to better treat patients.

"The clarity and the detail is much, much better than we were ever able to see on conventional

x-rays. You can see the 3-dimensional deformity where there's a ribhump on this side and there's quite a twist up to the spine and we've been able to eliminate a lot of that with this new instrumentation," Dr. Shah said.

"It's a much better thing for them and it's a huge relief for a parent as well," Anne Gordon said.

And it's helping keep Kate's sports dreams alive.

The Nobel Prize winning technology isn't just used to scan the spine. It can also be used for other parts of the body.