What We Do
About Some of the Exams We Read
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam is a safe and painless procedure that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce highly detailed images of your body without the use of x-rays. We use these images to help your doctor in making rapid, accurate diagnosis of many diseases and conditions.
Common MRI Uses
MR Angiography is another technique on the MRI scanner that’s used to look at blood vessels in key areas of the body, and identify signs of arterial or vascular disease.
In some cases, you may receive an injection of contrast materials to enhance the images and provide more information about your condition.
Computed Tomography (CT)
CT imaging uses special x-ray equipment to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed.
CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity than conventional x-ray exams.
Common CT SCAN Uses
CT imaging can also play a significant role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vascular disorders that can lead to stroke, gangrene or kidney failure.
CT of the chest is used to: further examine abnormalities found on conventional chest x-rays, help diagnose clinical signs or symptoms of disease of the chest, detect and evaluate the extent of tumors that arise in the lung and mediastinum, or tumors that have spread there from other parts of the body, assess whether tumors are responding to treatment
help plan radiotherapy, screen for lung cancer or other lung disorders.
A CT angiogram (CTA) may be performed to evaluate the blood vessels (arteries and veins) in the chest. This involves injecting the iodine into a vein a little faster, and also, more numerous and thinner slices are obtained through the chest in order to see the arteries to better advantage.
CT scanning of the head is typically used to detect bleeding, brain damage, skull fractures, aneurysms, blood clots, tumors, enlarged brain cavities, diseases, fractures or malformations of the skull, inflammation of sinuses, and to evaluate the extent of bone and soft tissue damage.
CT scanning of the spine is also performed to evaluate the spine, detect tumors, help diagnose spinal pain, and measure bone density.
Low Dose CT – Lung Cancer Screening – This test consists of a low dose, non-contrast CT that uses X-rays to scan the entire chest in about 5-10 seconds. This test is able to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
During a PET scan, a substance called a tracer that produces radioactive positrons either is injected into a vein or inhaled as a gas. This tracer is typically a chemical that is normally found in the body (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen) that has been altered to allow it to emit positrons. Once the tracer enters the body, it travels through the bloodstream to a specific target organ, such as the brain or heart. There the tracer emits positrons, which collide with electrons (negatively charged particles), producing gamma rays (similar to X-rays). These gamma rays are detected by a ring-shaped PET scanner and analyzed by a computer to form an image of the target organ’s metabolism or other functions.
PET scans are simple, painless, and fast, offering patients and their families life-saving information that helps physicians detect and diagnose diseases early and quickly begin treatment.
PET scanning and molecular imaging provide real life answers to better diagnose illness, guide treatment options, and give patients ultimate control over their critical and vital health care decisions.
Common PET SCAN Uses
Common ULTRASOUND Uses
Ultrasound may also be used for guiding procedures such as needle biopsies in which needles are used to extract a sample of cells from organs for laboratory testing, and assisting in the assessment of damage caused by illness.
Bone Density Scan (DEXA)
DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips.
Common Uses of DEXA SCANS
DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.
The DEXA test can also assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures.
Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.
Common Uses For Nuclear Medicine
- Analyze kidney function
- Image blood flow and function of the heart
- Scan lungs for respiratory and blood-flow problems
- Identify blockage of the gallbladder
- Evaluate bones for fracture, infection, arthritis or tumor
- Determine the presence or spread of cancer
- Identify bleeding into the bowel
- Locate the presence of infection
- Measure thyroid function to detect an overactive or under-active thyroid
Upper GI and/or Small Bowel Series
What is Upper GI Tract X-ray? Upper gastrointestinal tract radiography, also called an upper GI, is an x-ray examination of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine (also known as the duodenum) that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium. The radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and the duodenum.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. In addition to drinking barium, some patients are also given baking-soda crystals to further improve the images. This procedure is called an air-contrast or double-contrast upper GI.
A Small Bowel Series is an x-ray examination of the small intestines.
Common Upper GI Uses
An upper GI examination helps evaluate digestive function and to detect ulcers, tumors, inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, hiatal hernias, scarring, blockages, or abnormalities of the muscular wall of gastrointestinal tissues.
The procedure is also used to help diagnose symptoms such as, difficulty swallowing, chest and abdominal pain, reflux (a backward flow of partially digested food and digestive juices), unexplained vomiting, severe indigestion, blood in the stool (indicating internal GI bleeding). The Small Bowel Series is used to detect conditions, such as Tumors, Malabsorption, swelling and irritation of the small intestines.
Lower GI (Barium Enema)
What is Lower GI Tract X-ray? Lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract radiography, also called a lower GI, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine, also known as the colon. This includes the rectum. The appendix and a portion of the small intestine may also be included. The lower GI uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material called barium.
Common Lower GI Uses
- Ulcers Benign Tumors (such as polyps)
- Intestinal Illnesses
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Blood in Stool
- Irritable Bowl Syndrome
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Change in Bowl Habits
- Suspected Blood Loss
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
Common Uses for IVP
The exam is used to help diagnose symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain in the side or lower back, as well as detect problems within the urinary tract resulting from kidney stones, enlarged prostate, and tumors in the kidney, ureters or urinary bladder.