This is a common question for us and, generally, we begin our answer with a little clarification: The VCT 32 and VCT 64 only come with two table sizes, medium or long. Much of the confusion comes from casual references to "short" tables (by which the speaker actually means the medium table) and also GE's decision to designate one of them as "medium", which implies to the layperson that there is a third "short" size.
Interestingly enough, the medium table is technically the standard table for the VCT series, with the long table being optional. Even so, in the secondary marketplace we come across long tables much more frequently than medium. Because of this peculiarity, and because table length can make a difference in your facility's clinical capabilities, we're going to share with you why your VCT table length matters, and how you can tell which one you're looking at - without getting out your tape measure.
Why Does It Matter?
For both the 32-slice and the 64-slice VCT, the maximum scannable range of a medium table is 170cm. The range on a long table is 200cm. Because of this, they are sometimes referred to by yet another set of names-the 170 and the 200.
The 30 extra centimeters (11.8 in) available on a long-table scanner allow it to serve significantly taller patients. It also allows for full-body scanning, with a reduced likelihood of needing to reposition the patient. If you intend to specialize in sports medicine, a long table would be a wise investment. If you are scanning at a children's hospital, it's probably overkill.
If space is a concern at your facility, you can save a little room with a medium-table VCT. The recommended floor area is 21.7 square meters for these units. If you choose the long table, your room will require a minimum of 23.8 square meters.
NOTE: While the lengths may be different, the maximum load capacity for both is 500 pounds (227 kg) and the vertical range of movement is also the same: 43-99.1cm.
How Can I Know Which One I'm Looking At?
If you're shopping for a VCT 32 or 64, you'll probably do a lot of looking online and, understandably, it's a little hard to estimate down to the centimeter from a photograph on a website. For those instances where a seller hasn't specified, look for the software revision number. If it's included in the spec, and the letters GTL are in it, you have a "gantry table long". If the letters GTM are present, you have a "gantry table medium".
If you're purchasing your VCT refurbished, you won't find a very big difference in price between the medium and long-table systems. As a result, if you don't necessarily need the extra length but have room for it, you'll have your choice of any VCT on the market as you shop. If you do plan on lots of full-body scanning,the table size you'll need is readily available, refurbished, at no appreciable price increase over the standard table.
If you need more information about GE VCT scanners, you can use the button below to ask your questions and request a price quote.
Written by Paul Crawford
Paul Crawford is Vice President, CT at Block Imaging. In addition to his role here, he is also a husband and father of three. Paul believes the biggest value a business partner can provide is a partnership built on trust and strives to earn that trust with transparency in every conversation, project, and transaction he’s a part of.