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Diagnostic radiology services are tests that help your physician diagnose your condition. The following diagnostic radiology services are offered:
A radiograph or x-ray is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Some of the most frequent uses of x-rays are to obtain images of bones and joints, and the chest. The images are interpreted by a radiologist using a computer and special high resolution monitors. The radiologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disease and injury using medical imaging.
A DXA Scan, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, is a non-invasive x-ray technology used to measure bone loss. DXA is the established standard for measuring bone density and guiding treatment for osteoporosis.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology has been commonly used as a non-invasive medical test for diagnosing medical conditions. Most hospitals utilize 1.5T MRIs, but SACH offers patients 3Tesla technology and 1.5 Tesla Wide Bore, which produces images with greater clarity and detail. Patients who experience stroke and patients undergoing brain surgeries are among the chief beneficiaries of MRI technology, but it is also used for imaging the spine, muscles, bones, joints, and breast tissue. Wide Bore is also available for patients who maybe anxious about confined spaces.
Computerized Tomography (CT) scanners work by directing x-ray beams through the patient's body, which are then caught by detectors that spiral around the body and create 2D and 3D images. SACH's state-of-the-art 64-slice CT system produces greater detail and clarity of anatomical structures. While CT scans have applications for various parts of the human body, they are especially helpful for physicians at SACH's Heart Center, since the scan can reveal a virtual road map of the heart structures and coronary arteries.
Digital mammography and diagnostic ultrasound are offered through the Women's Breast & Imaging Center. Digital mammography is advanced technology that takes highly detailed breast images from different angles, allowing the radiologist to review and manipulate images of the breast for enhanced views. This can assist to view subtle or early signs of cancer. Breast ultrasound is also used as a complementary diagnostic test if an area of concern is detected on mammography.
Breast biopsies are performed to evaluate an area of concern identified on a mammogram. A stereotactic breast biopsy is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses stereo images (advanced images of the breast from different angles) to determine the precise coordinates of the abnormal tissue to be biopsied. Stereotactic breast biopsies can usually be performed on an outpatient basis by an interventional radiologist at the Women's Breast & Imaging Center.
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through arteries and veins.
Ultrasound is frequently used to evaluate the abdominal organs, the uterus and ovaries in the pelvis, and the unborn child (fetus) in pregnant patients. Ultrasound is also used to evaluate blockages in blood vessels, such as the carotid arteries which supply blood to the brain, and to evaluate the veins in the legs to determine if blood clots are present.
Catheter angiography is a minimally invasive test that produces pictures of blood vessels. A thin plastic tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the skin. The catheter is guided to the area being examined, contrast material is injected, and images are obtained using x-rays.
Angiography is most frequently used to diagnose blockages in major arteries throughout the body. Non-invasive angiography can also be done at times using computed tomography (CTA) or magnetic resonance (MRA).