Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Studies

MRI unit

Our subspecialty radiologists specialize in interpreting advanced diagnostic imaging studies, including MRI, CT, MRI and CT with contrast, arthrogram, cartigram, musculoskeletal ultrasound and nuclear medicine studies. Click on a link or scroll down the page to learn more about a particular type of study. Additionally, click the links below or scroll to the bottom of the page to learn about:

PREGNANCY & DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING  

WHERE TO FIND ADDITIONAL ADVANCED DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING INFORMATION  

ADVANCED DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING SECOND OPINION  


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIMRI is a diagnostic test that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce images of the internal body parts being examined. These detailed pictures are used to study the soft tissues of the body such as muscles and organs like the brain and heart and to distinguish between unhealthy and normal tissues. MRI provides information that may help your radiologist and your physician diagnose and treat your medical condition.


Computed Tomography (CT)

CTCT scanning is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment and computers to produce cross-sectional images of the internal body parts being examined. These pictures show internal organs, bones, soft tissues and blood vessels with great clarity and detail. CT scans provide information that may help your radiologist and your physician diagnose and treat your medical condition.


MRI & CT with Contrast / Injection

MRI with InjectionAs part of your MRI or CT scan, a contrast agent may be injected into your circulatory system through a vein to produce better images of your body part under examination. Your procedure may be done without contrast, but the images may not be as helpful to your radiologist or your physician.

Anytime an injection is given, the potential for pain, bleeding, bruising and swelling at the injection site arises. Exams requiring contrast may result in a mild headache, nausea, itching or other vague symptoms for a short period of time following the injection. Additional allergic reactions in response to the contrast agent may include hives, shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing. There have been rare instances of death after the administration of contrast.

If you have previously had a reaction to a contrast agent such as hives, severe itching, shortness of breath and / or any significant reaction requiring medical attention, you must inform the radiologic technologist and staff assisting you with your test. In addition, if you have a history of asthma or other allergic conditions, sickle cell anemia, kidney disorder and/or kidney disease and if you are currently undergoing dialysis, pregnant and/or breast feeding, you must also inform the radiologic technologist and staff assisting you with your procedure.


MRI & CT Arthrograms

ArthrogramAn arthrogram is a diagnostic procedure that involves capturing a series of images of a joint (e.g. shoulder or hip) with MRI or CT after injection of that joint with a contrast medium. The study provides information that may help your radiologist and your physician diagnose and treat the medical condition of your joint.

The injection is typically performed under local anesthetic using x-ray or ultrasound to guide a needle into the joint. You may feel a slight burning sensation when the local anesthetic agent is injected. This will pass quickly. During injection of the contrast medium, you may feel a sensation of pain or pressure, which is typical for this type of procedure. Discomfort or soreness may last for 24 hours after the injection.

Anytime an injection is given, the potential for pain, bleeding, bruising and swelling at the injection site arises. The use of contrast may result in a mild headache, nausea, itching or other vague symptoms for a short period of time following the injection. Additional allergic reactions in response to the contrast agent may include hives, a drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing. Some of these potential reactions may be life threatening. Inform the technologist and the staff assisting you with your procedure if you experience any of these medical conditions.

If you have previously had a reaction to a contrast agent such as hives, severe itching, shortness of breath and/or any significant reaction requiring medical attention, you must inform the radiologic technologist and staff assisting you with your test. In addition, if you have a history of asthma or other allergic conditions, sickle cell anemia, kidney disorder and/or kidney disease and if you are currently undergoing dialysis, pregnant, breast feeding and/or taking Glucophage, you must also inform the radiologic technologist and staff assisting you with your procedure.


CartiGram

CartigramA CartiGram is a type of MRI used to allow radiologists to study and evaluate the health of cartilage, the connective tissue found in joints between bones.


MRI with Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence (MARS)

MRI studies with MARS (MARS studies) are a type of MRI used to scan a body part that has a metal implant, such as a joint replacement or a spinal rod. Metal implants can cause distortion of the magnetic field used in MRI, thereby impairing the image quality obtained by the MRI. MARS studies reduce the size and intensity of magnetic field distortion caused by a metal implant and give your radiologist a better picture of your body part being examined. 


Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. These images not only help radiologists diagnose soft tissue injuries and conditions such as sprains, strains and tears, but also guide radiologists when administering injections for pain management, for example.


Nuclear Medicine Studies

PET-CTNuclear medicine studies use small amounts of radioactive materials, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of your anatomy. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific organs, bones or tissues and are introduced into the body by injection, swallowing or inhalation. As the radiopharmaceutical travels through the body, it produces radioactive emissions. These radioactive emissions are detected in the organ, bone or tissue being imaged by a special type of camera, which then records the information on a computer screen or film.

Nuclear medicine studies document a particular body part's structure, as well as how that body part is functioning, and enable your doctors to diagnose and treat disease. Common nuclear medicine exams include thyroid studies, brain scans, bone scans, lung scans, cardiac stress tests, and liver and gallbladder procedures. Positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) may also be used in conjunction with nuclear medicine studies. PET uses a special camera and computer to construct a 3-D image of the area being scanned. SPECT uses a gamma camera that collects photons emitted from the radiopharmaceutical and transforms them into visual data, creating a cross-sectional image of the area being scanned.

Before your examination, tell the nuclear medicine technologist and the staff helping you with your exam if you have any allergies and if you are undergoing radiation therapy, as these factors may require adjustments in how the examination is performed. Also, tell the technologist and staff if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding, as nuclear medicine tests are not typically recommended for pregnant women.


  Pregnancy & Imaging Tests

If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor, the radiologic technologist and the staff helping you with your diagnostic imaging study prior to scheduling or the start of your test or exam.


  Additional Information

For more information about diagnostic radiology and imaging tests, please visit RadiologyInfo.org, a collaboration of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).


  Advanced Diagnostic Imaging Second Opinion

If you have questions about the results of your advanced diagnostic imaging study, your radiology report, or the diagnosis you have been given by your doctor, please visit our Second Opinion page to learn more about your options.

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