New Biplane Technology Enhances Stroke Care at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

IVR biplane constructionFort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville is an accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center with capabilities for treating the most complex strokes. The hospital was the first facility in the area to have a full-time neurointerventional radiologist using computerized tomography (CT) and biplane angiography (an imaging procedure that tracks blood flow) to treat stroke, aneurysms and other vascular diseases in the brain.

This fall, Fort Sanders Regional will install new biplane technology that will offer even more enhancements to assure that patients experiencing strokes, blockages or other vascular conditions in the brain receive life-saving treatment as quickly as possible.

What is Biplane Technology?

Biplane technology is a type of rotational imaging that uses two panels to produce CT quality three-dimensional images of the vascular system, bones and soft tissue in the body. Its precise brain imaging guides the neurointerventional radiologist and interventional radiology technician in viewing and navigating through arteries, and using instruments to remove a clot or treat a blockage.

In biplane angiography, non-surgical interventions for strokes and other time-critical conditions are accomplished quickly and with less exposure to radiation because imaging and treatment happen at the same time. The image resolution also is significantly improved, allowing for treatment of smaller strokes that previously could not be reached. A more precise picture of a brain abnormality makes it easier to diagnose and repair, often resulting in a shorter hospitalization and faster recovery for the patient.

Fort Sanders Regional currently owns the only biplane machine in the Covenant Health system, which will be replaced by this new device.

What is a Stroke?

stroke happens when the blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted by a blocked or broken blood vessel (vein, artery, or capillary). Blood can no longer travel to the affected area and cells begin to die. 

Neurointerventional radiologists at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center are at the forefront of life-saving stroke procedures and lead the way in international stroke research. Championed by Keith Woodward, MD, and Rob Hixson, MD, the stroke team’s goal is to ensure patients receive the highest standard of care. Dr. Woodward notes that fast treatment can make a difference in quality of life after stroke.

“Time is Brain”

“Often times, the only thing standing between a lifetime of paralysis and walking again comes down to two questions: where to go when you have a stroke, and how long it takes to get there. Time is brain,” Dr. Woodward says.  

“With this technology, we can bypass the CT scanner and get straight to fixing the problem, whether it’s a leaking aneurysm or blocked vessel. This can save up to 45 minutes,” he explains. “Patients can now go from the ambulance straight into the neuro lab and receive the critical treatment they need, saving time and brain.”

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is the hub of Covenant Health’s stroke hospital network. No matter where patients are in East Tennessee, a Covenant Health stroke hospital is nearby. Patients who need the most advanced care have access to the additional stroke resources at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. For more information, visit or call 865-673-FORT.

Award-Winning Stroke Care

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Fort Sanders Regional is recognized by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

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Designated Comprehensive Stroke and Rehabilitation Center

Fort Sanders Regional is recognized by The Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. This means we’re part of an elite group of health care providers dedicated to complete, highly-specialized stroke care. We have the training, staff, and technology to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. We are home to the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, East Tennessee’s elite rehabilitation hospital for stroke, spinal cord and brain injury patients. PRNC is our region’s only stroke rehabilitation center accredited by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

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2020 Get with the guidelines award

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Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

Fort Sanders Regional has received the American Heart Association/American Stoke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement. This designation means that we continue to be part of an elite group of providers focused on complex and highly specialized stroke care.

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