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Lions, Tigers, and Bears Can Fit in This CT Scanner

Animals at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago are getting world-class radiology care. Last summer, La Grange Memorial and Hinsdale hospitals donated their 16-slice CT scanner to the zoo, one of the largest scanners in existence.

Both hospitals consolidated their equipment when they moved their imaging services to the Amita Health Cancer Institute & Outpatient Center in Hinsdale, IL. The Brookfield eagerly accepted the new scanner that produces images 16 times faster than their old scanner, thus reducing the amount of time the animal needs to be under anesthesia.

The scanner’s tunnel is 90 centimeters wide, and is suitable for a wide range of animals — from gorillas, bears, and dolphins, or any creature weighing 660 pounds or less. The technology will allow veterinarians to provide routine preventative scans, especially for animals who were too large for the zoo’s other scanners.

"Many of the species here are rare, meaning the veterinary data available for reference are limited,” said Michael Adkesson, Vice President of Clinical Medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society.  “As a result of our advanced medical imaging suite, we can build a more comprehensive database of normal medical images that will be a global resource for zoo and wildlife medicine.”

The Brookfield has been a leader in diagnostic imaging for animals. Back in 2012, the zoo led a study in diagnosing nasal tumors in the Mexican grey wolf, the world’s most endangered wolf.

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