LA BioMed CT Reading Core Lab
The Computed Tomographic Reading Core Laboratory (CT Reading Center or CT Core Lab ) supports clinical research projects both from within our institution and from over 60 outside institutions in NIH sponsored clinical studies. The CTRC specializes in cardiac, vascular and body composition imaging using advanced CT workstations, advanced quality control methods, systems storage and analytical methods for multiple investigations. It provides unique services in atherosclerosis imaging including plaque quantification, perfusion imaging and diagnostic services. In addition, the CT Reading Center offers collaborations in the area of renal, hepatic, vascular and pulmonary imaging, as well as body composition and endothelial function assessment. The Research Cardiac CT scanner is immediately adjacent to the laboratory.
Computed Tomographic Reading Core Laboratory Resources
- One advanced imaging scanner dedicated to cardiac and vascular research imaging (General Electric Revolution-256 scanner with Iterative Reconstruction and High Definition upgrades).
- Eleven General Electric Advantage Workstations with advanced capabilities for plaque imaging and perfusion assessment.
- A Philips Brilliance (one workstation), Siemens Leonardo (one workstation), Vital Images Vitrea (two workstations), TeraRecon (two workstations), Image Analysis (two workstations) for bone density measurements, Rephot Imaging (1 workstation) for calcium scoring and phantom adjustment, Osirix (five workstations), for calcium scoring, abdominal fat, volume, and density measurements; each with advanced applications for quantitative measures.
- The heart of the CT Reading Center is a group of 6 PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) servers. The PACS servers have the dual use of receiving CT images (DICOM format) from external centers as well as storing the CT images for use in the reading center.
- Our current office space houses a total of 55 computers/ workstations for multiple and ongoing studies, all linked to central PACS Services in our new NIH funded, $9.8 million dollar building, state of the art facility.
Services Available to Investigators Conducting Research
- Sample storage: The PACS servers run customized software developed by our staff using open source tools. This cost effective solution allows us to create servers on demand, running on off-the-shelf workstation hardware.
- Backup and Long Term Data Management: CT image data (DICOM images) are kept on the PACS servers using high-speed external drives housed in dual-disk redundant enclosures. As a further backup solution, data is also archived offline using hard drives, CD/DVDs, or Blu-Ray media as determined by the needs of each project.
- Digital Communication: The PACS servers are connected to a high-speed (gigabit) LAN with access to the Internet secured by an institutional firewall. This allows only external scanning sites that have our permission, access to send us DICOM formatted CT images. This restricts access to our systems and prevents any unauthorized alterations to our files or data. The PACS servers and reading center staff have demonstrated its capabilities to manage and coordinate the flow of CT images from over 60 external facilities.
- Workstations: The reading center maintains DICOM (CT image) review workstations with software from 7 vendors. The varieties of software we maintain allows us choose the best tools necessary to complete projects. All DICOM review workstations are connected by a secure gigabit ethernet LAN to the PACS servers, allowing our CT Readers to retrieve and review cases as needed.
- Consultation related to protocol development and study site preparation: Consultation on technical problem or with method development, statistical support to utilize acquired data, and setting up scanner sites and CT acquisition development.
- Training : Training is routinely provided to CTSI supported fellows and junior faculty on CTSI approved projects, and previous training includes over 100 cardiologists and radiologists, and a similar number of radiology residents and cardiology fellows.
CT core reading services are routinely provided to internal and external organizations within the CTSI network throughout the US. Recharge mechanism will be set up between the CTSI investigators or outside investigators prior to initiation of the project.
The Computer Tomography Reading Core Laboratory personnel includes: 26 personnel, led by Matthew Budoff, including 7 full time physician readers (primarily cardiac radiologists), and 5 physicians leading research projects, plus ancillary support personnel, including data manager coordinators, project managers, computer IT support, data management experts, statistical support, quality assurance experts and secretarial staff.
Director: Matthew Budoff, M.D.
Phone # (310) 222 4107
Technical Lab Director: Christopher Dailing
Phone # (310) 974 9331