There are many techniques and procedures used to capture medical images. X-rays have been used for over 100 years and remain the most familiar and most widely used form of medical imaging. Over the decades, radiology has advanced and evolved into a high-tech science using state-of-the-art equipment and new diagnostic and interventional procedures. Some of the most commonly used radiology techniques include X-ray, Angiography, Fluoroscopy, Mammography, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Bone Densitometry (Dexa-Scan).
Radiology Associates offers a range of diagnostic exams and procedures including:
- Nuclear Medicine
- Diagnostic X-ray
- Bone Density
CT, formerly called computerized axial tomography (CAT), is a radiographic technique that produces an image of a detailed cross section of tissue. It is used to examine areas of the body, including head, neck, sinuses, chest, abdomen, urinary tract, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and renal arteries, and many more areas. This noninvasive procedure, first used in 1972, has become a mainstay for diagnosing medical diseases.
Mammography is a special X-ray examination of the breast. It is the most effective method available for detecting breast cancer at an early stage, when successful treatment is more likely. It can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
MRI uses a large circular magnet and radio waves to generate signals from atoms in the body. These signals are used to construct images of internal structures. Doctors can get highly refined images of the body’s interior without surgery. MRI is particularly useful for imaging the brain and spine, as well as the abdomen, pelvis, breast, soft tissues of joints and the interior structure of bones.
PET/CT scan combines PET (positron emission tomography) and CT techniques. PET/CT scans can be performed on any part of the body. They are frequently used to gather information about the heart, brain and the whole body for cancer.
PET/CT scans provide improved accuracy by combining the two modalities, which enables our radiologists to provide more accurate diagnoses to help with treatment by simultaneously merging anatomical and functional data.
PET scans produce powerful images of the human body’s biological functions. They show the glucose (sugar) metabolism of an organ or tissue. A CT scan takes a large number of x-rays. These are analyzed by a computer to create a three-dimensional image of the body part being studied and the images are fused with the PET data.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image. This technique does not involve ionizing radiation. The images are obtained real time, so radiologists are able to observe motion and assess function, as well as anatomy. Common examinations include evaluation of blood vessels, gallbladder, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, uterus and ovaries, urinary bladder, thyroid, fetus, musculoskeletal structures, breast and heart.
Nuclear Medicine imaging involves the administration of very small amounts of radioactive materials to diagnose and/or treat disease. These procedures are used to identify abnormalities early in the progression of disease long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. The heart, lungs, thyroid, liver, gallbladder and bones are commonly evaluated for particular conditions using these procedures.
Diagnostic X-rays are a type of high-energy radiation. In low doses, they are used to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body. In high doses, they are used to treat cancer.
Fluoroscopy is a type of medical imaging that shows a continuous x-ray image on a monitor, much like an x-ray movie. It is used to diagnose or treat patients by displaying the movement of a body part or of an instrument or dye (contrast agent) through the body.
During a fluoroscopy procedure, an x-ray beam is passed through the body. The image is transmitted to a monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail.
Bone Density tests, also called densitometry or DEXA scan, are the most commonly used test to measure bone density. The test is quick and painless, similar to having an x-ray, but uses much less radiation.