Friday, December 26, 2008

Meresamun to go under OI scanner

Chicago Tribune

When doctors at the University of Chicago put the first patient through their new cutting-edge CT scanner, they weren't very concerned about her health. But they did hope to find clues into how she died, 3,000 years ago.

Meresamun, a mummy owned by the university's Oriental Institute, recently had the honor of being the first subject of the university's 256-slice scanner, which is four times as powerful as the previous model and the first of its kind in Illinois.

As a medical tool, University of Chicago Medical Center radiologists say, the scanner will create faster, more accurate images of ailing people's bodies while also reducing their exposure to radiation.

Physicians have used computed tomography, or CT, for more than 30 years to peek inside the body. The scanners contain detectors that loop around a patient, taking a series of X-rays from various angles that are then assembled into a three-dimensional cross-section of the body, or "slice." When slices are stacked together electronically, doctors can reconstruct organs to look for tumors or blood clots.

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