The use of a portable head CT scanner in the intensive care unit

Kaitlin Peace, Eileen Maloney Wilensky, Suzanne Frangos, Eileen MacMurtrie, Elizabeth Shields, Marianne Hujcs, Joshua Levine, Andrew Kofke, Wei Yang, Peter D.Le Roux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Transport of critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients may be hazardous. In this study, we examined the use of a portable head CT scanner (CereTom®) in the ICU to assess its feasibility, safety, and radiological quality. Two hundred and twenty-five portable head CT scans were obtained from 114 patients (mean age = 57 T 18 years) treated in a neurosurgical intensive care unit at a university-based Level I trauma center. Patient radiological and ICU records were retrospectively reviewed. The vast majority of portable CT scans were performed after an intracranial procedure (24%) due to neurological deterioration (16%) or in routine follow-up (16%). Diagnostic qualitywas judged to be adequate, and no scans needed to be repeated because of poor quality. No scans were complicated by accidental disconnection of an intravenous line. In ventilated patients, there were no interruptions in mechanical ventilation and no inadvertent extubations. In addition, continuous intracranial monitoring, when in use, remained connected. The average total time to perform a portable head CT scan was 19.5 ± 3.5 min. The actual scan time was 2.5 ± 0.7 min. These results suggest that the portable CT scanner (CereTom®) is feasible, easy to use, and safe and provides adequate radiological quality for diagnostic decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical


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