Pathology Lab at Letterkenny General Hospital benefits from Faxitron's Pathology Specimen Radiography System

Letterkenny General Hospital (LGH) is an acute general and maternity Hospital, which forms an integral part of the Ireland West/North-West Hospital Group. The Hospital aims to deliver a patient-centred, quality-driven, focused service and provides a wide range of diagnostic and support services. LGH is a teaching hospital with links to the National University of Ireland Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

The Faxitron PathVision system is being used to more precisely determine the spread and exact place of tumour in breast cancer resection specimens, especially in cases with in-situ ductal carcinomas or after neoadjuvant therapy. Designed with the imaging needs of the pathologist in mind, the bench top system allows immediate access to high-resolution images that precisely pin-point the location and extent of disease.

The addition of this advancement aligns LGH technological capabilities with the top cancer centres in the world. The Faxitron system is the only one of its kind in the North West Region and is the industry's latest, most advanced specimen radiography system.

"The recent acquisition of the Faxitron technology is an example of how Letterkenny’s diagnostic services are continuing to grow and expand" says Kerry Alcorn Senior Medical Scientist - Histology Laboratory at LGH. "This technological investment, and advanced technologies to come, will allow Letterkenny to continue recruiting subspecialists, offer more services and provide a level of care equal to major academic medical institutions."

Dr. Hajnalka Gyorffy Ph.D, Consultant Histopathologist and primary user of the PathVision speaks of her positive experience with the latest Faxitron addition to LGH:

Pathology Lab at Letterkenny General Hospital benefits from Faxitron Pathology Specimen Radiography System

"I have used the Faxitron PathVision system for over twelve months now and have found that it makes the life of the pathologist much easier. I usually use specimen radiography to detect non-palpable breast tumours as well as calcifications which are related to in-situ ductal carcinomas (DCIS).

It is very useful in determining the exact localization of the tumour when the patient has undergone neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the cancer has disappeared (the most favourable scenario). In this incidence, x-ray can detect the metal clip placed in the tumour prior to the commencement of the chemotherapy regime. I often find the standard features of the Vision software very beneficial, especially inverting the image to visualize fine calcifications and using the six levels of geometric magnification to ensure highest image quality.

The operation of the Faxitron is very user-friendly; it does not require complex preparation or special conditions such as lead shielding, and its compact size allows it to be conveniently sited in the dissection area of the laboratory. Following initial switch-on, it takes only a few minutes to warm-up and self-calibrate before I can start the x-ray detection.

The large field of view (23cm x 29cm) allows whole specimen examination, while in other situations I prefer to x-ray individual slices and use one of the six levels of geometric magnification to ensure highest resolution. These methods allow me to easily and punctually find the site of the tumour, calcification or clip.

Prior to the installation of the Faxitron PathVision, I had to re-cut extra blocks from specimens with unusual gross morphology hence adding to the work load of the scientific staff.

For instance – 20-22 blocks were routinely cut from a specimen without specimen radiography, but 8-10 relevant blocks can be easily identified and selected after using the PathVision.

The PathVision has been a fantastic addition to the lab here at LGH and it most definitely allows me to make better use of my time and resources, increases specimen turnaround time and ultimately benefits the patient."

Date: 15th May 2014