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New Johns Hopkins University Center Brings Imaging Therapies To Pets - 03/16/2015

New Johns Hopkins University Center Brings Imaging Therapies To Pets

Services include CT, MRI, and image-guided and minimally invasive procedures
Release Date: March 16, 2015
A patient in the Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy
A patient in the Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy
Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Fast Facts:

  • The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy uses various imaging tools to diagnose pets.
  • Services include image-guided biopsies and minimally invasive procedures.

Recent years have seen breakneck innovation in the field of radiology, from MRI-guided biopsies, to image-guided stenting, to ways to lower radiation dosage while preserving image quality. Now, a dedicated center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is making those innovations available to our four-legged — and even winged — friends.

At the Center for Image-Guided Animal Therapy, pets have access to many of the same advanced procedures that benefit humans, using research-dedicated facilities at the school of medicine.
“The center provides a better way to diagnose and treat pets than has typically been available,” says Dara Kraitchman, D.V.M., Ph.D., a radiology and radiological science professor and the director of the center.

The center can accommodate dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, birds and other pets, Kraitchman says. Pet owners are typically referred to the center by their veterinarians, as few veterinary facilities have the equipment needed for advanced imaging. The center’s available technologies include X-ray fluoroscopy and angiography, C.T., M.R.I and positron emission tomography.

In addition to diagnostic imaging, veterinarians at the center use MRI to guide needles during biopsies of suspected tumors to minimize the impact on patients. They also use imaging to guide minimally invasive treatment procedures, such as cryoablation and stenting. “Imaging often allows us to perform procedures like this without open surgery,” Kraitchman says.

The facility currently scans about 10 patients per week. Its team includes Kraitchman; co-director Rebecca Krimins, D.V.M., M.S., a veterinary anesthesiologist; veterinary and MRI technicians; and nursing staff. Images are transferred in real time to a veterinary radiologist for final evaluation and then sent to the patient’s veterinarian.

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