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Patients First: Low Dose CT Imaging at FirstHealth


Glen A. Toomayan, M.D., board certified radiologist with FirstHealth Moore Regional & the MRH-Hoke Campus and Pinehurst Radiology Associates

Q&A with Glen A. Toomayan, M.D., board certified radiologist with FirstHealth Moore Regional & the MRH-Hoke Campus and Pinehurst Radiology Associates

A graduate of Duke University, Dr. Toomayan received his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine.

He completed his internship, residency and a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at Duke University Medical Center.

He has been a diagnostic radiologist with Pinehurst Radiology Associates since 2010 and chief of the Radiology Section at Moore Regional Hospital since 2012.


Q. Why is “dose” an issue of importance for physicians and patients alike?

A. CT scans performed for appropriate reasons are very helpful in the diagnosis and management of many medical problems. However, concerns have been raised about the potential risk of radiation dose from repeated CT scans increasing a patient’s risk for developing cancer later in life. While this risk is very low, healthcare professionals are focusing on making this risk as low as possible.


Q. What is FirstHealth doing to enable low-dose imaging for its patients?

A. In recent years, new techniques have been developed to lower radiation dose from Computed Tomography (CT) scans while still providing high-quality diagnostic examinations. FirstHealth has invested in GE Healthcare’s ASiR (adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction) technology for its new CT scanner at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus. Reducing the radiation dose to the patient typically creates “noisy” CT images that can be difficult for the radiologist to interpret. ASiR technology reduces the “noise” in the diagnostic images, providing higher image quality than a CT scan that does not use dose-reduction technology. Using this technology allows radiologists to reduce the radiation dose to the patient, while preserving or even improving CT image quality.


Q. Why did Moore Regional Hospital – Hoke Campus choose GE Healthcare’s low-dose technology, and what are the potential benefits for patients and physicians?

A. GE’s ASiR technology has a track record of proven success at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, where this technology has been in place for the past two years. We have routinely employed this technique with excellent image quality and reductions in patient radiation dose.


Q. What has the patient experience been like?

A. Patients do not notice any difference between a typical CT scan and a CT scan using ASiR technology. However, using this technology has allowed radiologists to provide confident diagnoses while exposing the patients to lower radiation doses than with a conventional CT scan. Lowering radiation dose is very important to keep any possible risks to the patient from radiation exposure to a minimum.


Q. What is the future of low-dose technology at FirstHealth and across the healthcare spectrum? 

A. In coming years, we can expect to see current technology refined and new technology emerge to continue providing the highest possible CT scan image quality while using the lowest possible radiation dose. FirstHealth will continue to be a leader in bringing low-dose technology to patients as it becomes available.

For more information on low-dose CT at Moore Regional Hospital – Hoke Campus, visit