| EBT for MDs
EBT Information for Healthcare Providers
EBT Scanning offers your patients the state of the art in managing cardiac and cancer risk. As the gold standard in early atherosclerosis detection, it is an invaluable tool in deciding which patients with intermediate risk should be considered for more intensive therapy.
This section is intended to help familiarize you with using EBT scanning in your practice. For important scientific literature on EBT Heart Scans and Virtual Colonoscopy, please see our section on EBT Research and Publications
What is EBT?
Electron Beam Tomography is an ultra-fast type of CT scan. A typical CT scanner utilizes a one or more X-ray sources and detectors arrayed in a rotating ring around the patient. In a CT Scanner, the "exposure time" to create each image is limited by the time required to rotate the detectors around the patient.
The EBT scanner creates a 3-dimensional scan without any moving parts. Instead of mechanically rotating an X-ray source around the patient, the patient is inside a tungsten ring and an electron beam is directed at the tungsten ring to create X-rays. By electronically moving the beam, the X-ray source moves around the patient. EBT scanners are thereby able to attain an image exposure time that is 5-10 times faster than CT scanners currently in use.
Why does exposure time matter?
When imaging organs that are in constant motion the shorter the exposure time the less motion artifact will occur. This is most critical in the coronary arteries. There is no point in the cardiac cycle where all three main coronary arteries are at a standstill. Only EBT scans are fast enough to directly image the coronary arteries and produce highly reproducible and reliable results. Although many other centers are able to create a calcium score with a multi-slice CT scanner, only EBT has been repeatedly shown in multiple studies to offer the reliability required for coronary artery imaging.
How much radiation is my patient exposed to?
EBT scans expose the patient to a much lower dose than a multi-slice CT scanner, generally about 1/5th the radiation. In addition, the radiation is entirely posterior to anterior which limits the dose received by the more radiation sensitive anterior tissues such as breast and thyroid. A typical EBT heart scan is a radiation dose comparable to living in Denver (where the cosmic radiation dose is slightly greater than at sea level) for one year.
What should my patient and I expect?
The EBT heart scan is amazingly easy. The scanner is not claustrophobic and since it is non-magnetic there are no problems for patients with surgical clips, pacemakers, etc. The patient does not have to undress and the scan takes only about 30 seconds.
When they arrive at our center a nurse will first meet with them to review their medical history and explain to them how the scan is done. After the scan is completed it takes about 10-15 minutes to process the images and create a report. Once this is ready, the patient will meet with one of our Internists to review the results.
If the patient has a significant calcium score, our physicians will always try to call the referring physician prior to explaining the results to the patient. That way the information we give the patient will be consistent with how the referring physician wishes to utilize the results. It also will give the referring physician an opportunity to ask any questions about the significance of the results and to have those results available at the same time as the patient.
All results are faxed to the referring physician's office the same day and an original copy is mailed to the office.
In those cases where our physician believes the interpretation of the results or the recommended management to be more complex, our physician will also send a cover letter with the report explaining our interpretation of the scan.
Does Princeton Longevity Center provide primary care or manage the results of the EBT scan?
Our center is exclusively dedicated to preventive medicine. We do not provide primary care services. Although we do offer lipid management to patients who do not have a primary care physician, those patients who are referred to the Center by their physicians are ALWAYS sent back to their physician for follow-up and on-going management. We value your relationship with your patient, as well as with us.