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3D scanner used for first time in UK

5 June, 2000

A new form of 3D scanner was used successfully for the first time in the UK last week at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

When Stephen Smith was suffering from internal bleeding in the brain he was given a cerebral angiogram (were dye is injected into the brains blood vessels and x-rays are taken). However it failed to reveal any abnormalities until the images were viewed through 3D spectacles.

Mr Smith was identified as suffering from a cerebral aneurysm, which could have caused a stroke if it had burst. As a result of the scan Mr Smith underwent corrective surgery which involved a metal clip being placed over the effected area.

The new scanner, which is thought to be only one of two in Europe works by taking 360 x-rays in an arc, which are then looked at through 3D glasses, and allow blood vessels to be seen more clearly.

Consultant neurosurgeon , Mr Jonathan Wasserberg said: "Up until now, you saw the pictures in one dimension only. You had to take pictures at various angles because the whole thing is a complicated network of vessels. Now we can see it in 3D, rotate it, look round corners. We can immediately see if the abnormality is real or not."