Dr. James Naidich, an interventional radiologist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, recently underwent a precautionary CT scan in his employer’s new $2.5 million scanner—a move that saved his life.
The new state-of-the-art machine, one of only three in the country, took a high resolution 3D image of his heart in 30 seconds using new 640-slice-per-rotation computed tomography, revealing severe blockages in all three arteries of his heart.
“This is an explosion in our ability to accurately image the human body,” Naidich, who’s since recovered from having surgery to implant stents intended to prevent blockages and heart attacks, told reporters Thursday at a news conference.
North Shore-LIJ Manhasset is the home of Toshiba’s Aquillion ONE VISION Edition, which offers the most advanced cardiac imaging currently available. It is more accurate and gives off less radiation than other cardiac scanner technologies.
“This machine is a quarter of the radiation of a nuclear stress test,” said Dr. Stanley Katz, senior vice president of Cardiovascular Services at North Shore-LIJ, who’s been Naidich’s cardiologist for five years. “If I were to choose a machine for my patient, I would choose this one.”
Katz noted that insurance companies aren’t easily persuaded to cover the cost of the scan. He said Medicare patients are covered but in order to get coverage from other insurances, the doctor has to call and argue for their patient.
Naidich had a silent infarct, a non-symptom heart attack, and an irregular EKG prior to having the CT scan done. Katz and Naidich were both surprised when the scan revealed the blockages in Naidich’s heart.
“The machine benefited his life,” said Katz.
A week after the CT scan, Katz performed an angioplasty on Naidich to unblock the arteries in his heart. The doctors said the scanner prevented Naidich from having to undergo open heart surgery.
Naidich said: “Here we have this extraordinary device that will allow you to image the coronary arteries with minimal invasion.”