Three-dimensional mammography (also called digital breast tomosynthesis) creates a three-dimensional picture of the breast using x-rays. Several low-dose images from different angles around the breast are used to create the 3D picture. A 3D mammogram takes a few seconds longer than a 2D mammogram because more images are taken, but if you’ve had a mammogram in the past you won’t likely notice a difference. We encourage you to visit our Health Library to learn even more about breast imaging.
CT scans of the Abdomen/Pelvis can be used to diagnose and detect many different problems regarding organs in the pelvic area. For women, these include the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. For a man, a CT scan will look at the prostate gland and testicles as well as other reproductive organs. Besides the examination of the reproductive organs of both male and female, a CT scan can detect many other conditions including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, pancreatitis, and cancers of the kidneys, liver, pancreas, ovaries and bladder.
Amyloid PET Brain Imaging
Amyloid PET imaging uses a class of radiopharmaceuticals that detect levels of amyloid in the human brain. Examples of these radiopharmaceuticals include Amyvid™ (florbetapir F18), Neuraceq™ (florbetaben F18) and Vizamyl™ (flutemetamol F18). Measurements of cerebral amyloid may be clinically useful in the work up and management of patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for possible Alzheimer's disease or other causes of cognitive decline.
An angiogram is an x-ray test used to look at the arteries or veins in the head, arms, legs, chest, back, or belly. During an angiogram, a small catheter is placed into a blood vessel and contrast material is injected through this to allow one to see the blood vessel and assess for any abnormalities. An MRI or CT scan may also be performed so as to obtain supplementary images of the arteries.
Arthrography is a type of medical imaging used in the evaluation and diagnosis of joint conditions and unexplained pain. It is very effective at detecting disease within the ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Arthrography may be indirect, where contrast material is injected into the bloodstream, or direct, where contrast material is injected into the joint. Computed tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or fluoroscopy – a form of real-time x-ray may be performed after arthrography to image the joint.
Axumin™ is an FDA-approved scan that is used to detect recurrent prostate cancer in earlier stages, like just after surgery or radiation. Axumin™ is a radioactive synthetic amino acid (the building block of protein) that is inserted into a body via a vein. The area within the body, where the tracer enters, is detected by a PET scan machine – generally, simultaneously the CT scan is obtained, called a PET-CT scan. The radioactive physiology pictures are compared with CT scan anatomy pictures to develop a whole-body exam that looks for prostate cancer.
Bone Density (DEXA)
A dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) is a test to determine your bone density and mineral content which is then compared with what is normally expected in a healthy young adult of your sex. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and sometimes the forearm. Your test result will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help you protect your bones or treat the early signs of osteoporosis.
A breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test uses magnetic fields to capture multiple images of the breast tissue which are then combined to create detailed pictures of the inside of your breasts. The breast MRI test is performed without the use of radiation or compressing the breasts, but it is more invasive than a mammography because a contrast agent is given through an IV before the procedure. Breast MRI is mostly used for breast cancer diagnosis and staging or in breast cancer screening for women at higher risk.
Breast ultrasound is an imaging test that sends high-frequency sound waves – not radiation – through your breast and converts them into images on a viewing screen. This testing is typically performed to further examine any abnormalities in the breasts that have been found during a breast exam or mammogram since it can provide further information to your healthcare provider about lumps, calcifications and other abnormalities that may be present in the breast.
Calcium scoring is the standard test to detect coronary artery calcification. CACS uses a Computed Tomography (CT) scan to find the buildup of calcium on the walls of the arteries of the heart. The test identifies your level of deposits and produces a calcium score. Normally, the coronary arteries do not contain calcium, therefore a finding of calcium in the coronary arteries is the earliest indicator of heart disease. Taking into account other factors such as age, family history and cholesterol level, your doctor uses this score to measure your potential for heart disease and to determine how severe it is. We encourage you to visit our Health Library to learn even more about Calcium Scoring.
A cardiac MRI is a noninvasive procedure that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create detailed pictures of your heart. Cardiac MRI can provide detailed information on the type and severity of heart disease to help your doctor decide the best way to treat heart problems such as coronary heart disease, heart valve problems, pericarditis, cardiac tumors, or damage from a heart attack.
Cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) uses a radioactive tracer to evaluate heart tissue functioning. It is a very accurate way to diagnose coronary artery disease and detect areas of low blood flow in the heart. A cardiac PET scan can help in determining if you’ll benefit from a cardiac procedure or surgery to restore blood flow. The tracers used for the scans can help identify injured but still living (viable) heart muscle that might be saved if blood flow is restored in time.
Carotid ultrasound is a painless imaging test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries — the two arteries on either side of the neck that provide blood flow to the brain. Doctors often use carotid ultrasound on patients who have had a stroke, in cases where a blockage is suspected, or based on your cardiovascular risk profile.
A CT scan of the chest can look for problems within the heart, lungs, and esophagus as well as in the tissues and blood vessels in the center of the chest. Common chest problems that a CT scan may find include infection in the chest, tuberculosis, emphysema, pneumonia, an aneurysm, a pulmonary embolism, and lung or esophageal cancer. If you received abnormal findings on a recent chest x-ray, your doctor may order a CT scan of the chest to get an in-depth look and accurately diagnose the problem.
Computerized Colonography uses a CT scanner to produce hundreds of cross-sectional images of your abdominal organs. Those images are digitally manipulated to evaluate the inner surfaces of the colon and provide a detailed view for the absence or presence of abnormalities, such as colon polyps. CT Colonography is more comfortable than conventional colonoscopy as it does not use a colonoscope and therefore, no sedation is needed.
Tooth loss can sometimes result in the need to have a permanent dental implant. To assist with the dental professional’s planning, and to evaluate the quality and quantity of bone in the jaw, a CT scan of the jaw is performed and a specialized software package called “Simplant” is utilized to create additional images. The CT of the jaw is a painless, non-invasive 10-minute scan that makes it possible to determine the ideal location for a dental implant.
Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
DTI creates vivid color pictures of the paths of innumerable nerve fibers in the white matter of the brain by analyzing the movement of water molecules along the fibers. Pictures of these fiber pathways can be helpful in assessing damage to the brain by many disease processes, including trauma and brain tumors.
There are two main types of mammography: film-screen mammography and digital mammography. Digital mammography offers a number of practical advantages and patient conveniences. While the technique for performing them is the same, a digital mammogram uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image. Since there's no waiting for film to be developed, digital images are immediately available and can be transferred between centers for intradepartmental review.
Digital radiography is a form of x-ray imaging, where digital x-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages include time efficiency through bypassing chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound scan of the heart. The scan can give accurate pictures of the heart muscle, the heart chambers, and structures within the heart. Abnormalities such as damaged heart valves, thickened heart muscle, and some congenital heart defects, can be seen quite clearly. The echoes are detected by a probe that the operator moves around over the skin’s surface to obtain views from different angles. The images are displayed as a picture on a monitor and the images are constantly updated so the scan can show movement as well as structure. Please visit our Health Library to learn about the different types of echocardiography tests your physician may order for you.
An electrocardiogram -- also known as an EKG or ECG — is a painless procedure that is used to check for signs of heart disease. The test records the electrical activity of your heart muscle through small electrode patches that are attached to your chest, arms, and legs. Although it is not considered an imaging exam itself, it is used in several imaging procedures to monitor heart wave activity or to synchronize the acquisition of data.
CT enterography is a quick, painless and accurate test that looks at the middle part of your intestine –- called the small bowel. The procedure produces high-resolution images of the small intestine in addition to the other structures in the abdomen and pelvis. The results can then be analyzed to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of small bowel abnormalities.
Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) is a noninvasive, 3-dimensional imaging modality for evaluating malignancies. The role of this procedure is to detect metabolically active malignant lesions including lung cancer, colorectal cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, brain cancer and multiple myeloma.
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see internal organs and fluids in motion. Through the use of x-ray to produce video images, physicians are able to view live images to observe the size, shape, and movement of the patient’s internal structures. Due to its good temporal resolution, excellent bone-tissue contrast, and real-time imaging, Fluoroscopy has many diagnostic uses that greatly improve the accuracy of incisions, injections, and hardware placement while minimizing tissue trauma.
A CT scan of the head will give your doctor an in depth view of areas including the eyes, facial bones, sinuses, inner ear, and brain. Typically CT scans of the head are used to detect bleeding in the brain, brain tumors, damage from a stroke and diseases of the skull. If you have had confusion, paralysis, vision problems, vertigo, headaches and numbness, your doctor may order a CT scan to determine the cause of these symptoms. CT scans of the facial area are performed to detect issues with the eyes and optic nerves, sinuses, problems with bones and joints of the skull and jaw.
A hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan helps evaluate the parts of the biliary system, including the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. During the procedure, a small dose of radiotracer is injected intravenously, swallowed or inhaled as a gas. Pictures of your liver, gallbladder and ducts are then taken as you lay on your back. A HIDA scan typically takes between one hour and one-and-a-half hours to complete.
Hysterosonography involves the slow infusion of sterile saline solution into a woman's uterus during ultrasound imaging. It is useful as a screening test to minimize the use of more invasive diagnostic procedures, as it allows the doctor to evaluate abnormal growths inside the uterus; abnormalities of the tissue lining the uterus; or disorders affecting deeper tissue layers.
Low-dose Lung CT Screening
CT scans of the chest provide more detailed pictures than chest x-rays and are better at finding small abnormal areas in the lungs. Low-dose CT of the chest uses lower amounts of radiation than a standard chest CT and does not require the use of intravenous (IV) contrast dye. Lung cancer screening is recommended for adults who are at high risk for developing the disease because of their smoking history and age. Read more about Low-dose Lung CT Screening in our Health Library.
Lung VQ Scan
A ventilation–perfusion (VQ) scan is a nuclear medicine scan that uses radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) to examine airflow (ventilation) and blood flow (perfusion) in the lungs. A VQ scan is used to measure lung function for a variety of reasons, but are mostly performed for a blood clot in the lungs, called a pulmonary embolus.
An arthrogram is a two-part procedure used to obtain detailed pictures of the inside of a joint; commonly the shoulder, knee, hip, or wrist. After a contrast medium is injected by a needle into the joint, the radiographer obtains a series of MRI scans to help properly diagnose the cause of pain or restricted motion of a joint.
MRI Guided Breast Biopsy
MRI-guided breast biopsy is a non-radiation, minimally invasive, image-guided procedure that is used to precisely locate and remove tissue from a suspicious area in the breast for diagnosis and treatment planning. Less invasive than surgical biopsy, it leaves little or no scarring and can be performed in less than an hour without the need for hospitalization and general anesthesia.
MUGA Heart Scan
A multigated acquisition scan (MUGA) is a highly accurate, noninvasive diagnostic test that creates video images of the lower chambers of the heart to check whether they are pumping blood properly. During the test, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein and a special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer-generated “movie” images of the beating heart.
A myelogram is a diagnostic imaging procedure that combines dye with x-rays to evaluate problems with the spine. It is useful to detect conditions affecting the spinal cord and nerves within the spinal canal, including disc herniations, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, tumors, and infection.
Sometimes referred to as a nuclear stress test, myocardial perfusion is used to diagnose the presence or absence of coronary artery disease. This non-invasive exam captures images of a patient’s heart before and after exercise to determine the effect of physical stress on the flow of blood through the coronary arteries and the heart muscle.
First introduced in the late 1950s, obstetric ultrasonography is a diagnostic imaging modality in which sound waves are used to create real-time visual images of the developing embryo or fetus in its mother's uterus. Now widely used, ultrasound examinations are currently considered to be a safe and accurate option for you and your baby.
A pelvic ultrasound is a safe and painless scan that looks at the organs and structures in your pelvic area. Pelvic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your internal organs and can be performed three ways: transabdominal, transrectal, and transvaginal. Ultrasound does not use x-ray or other types of radiation.
PET Bone Scan
The Sodium Fluoride F 18 bone PET/CT scan is fast, straightforward and painless, and is an important tool for detecting and evaluating metastatic bone cancer. PET/CT system scans your entire skeletal system and produces high-resolution images of your bones. These images are then used to determine if cancer or other diseases have spread to any bones in the body. This allows appropriate treatment to begin as soon as possible.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field instead of x-rays to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs, such as the prostate gland. MRI may be used to allow evaluation of the prostate and nearby lymph nodes in order to distinguish between benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) areas.
Ultrasound is a widely used and well-tolerated imaging modality for evaluation of the prostate. The test, that can be done in less than an hour, produces black-and-white images of your prostate by bouncing sound waves off your body’s tissues. The high-quality images produced can help your doctor identify possible prostate conditions before they become more serious or unmanageable.
The purpose of a renal ultrasound is to examine your kidneys, ureters, and bladder for disease or abnormality. This safe and painless study can show the size and position of the kidneys and can also show if there are any blockages, stones or tumors.
Ultrasonography is a common, painless technique used to image inner organs. During a scrotal ultrasound, a high-frequency sound is sent into the body; when it hits tissue, it is reflected back creating an image of the internal tissue structure. The doppler will also measure blood flow in and out of the testicle which is helpful for diagnosing testicle torsion and varicoceles.
A sinus screening CT (computed tomography) scan uses a special x-ray machine to take detailed pictures of the sinuses. A CT scan of the sinuses is useful because it can show many types of tissue in the same image and will display the facial structures, including the patient’s four pairs of sinuses connected to the nasal sinus cavity.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
Stereotactic breast biopsy uses 3-dimensional images to find the exact location of a tumor or suspicious area in the breast and remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. It’s less invasive than surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring and can be an excellent way to evaluate calcium deposits or tiny masses that are not visible on ultrasound.
Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI)
Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) is a high-resolution MR imaging sequence that is more sensitive in detecting small hemorrhagic lesions than conventional imaging; it is therefore particularly useful for the detection and quantification of small punctate lesions. This new neuroimaging technique can be applied in a wide variety of pathologies, including multiple sclerosis, trauma, and tumors.
Three Phase Bone Scan
A nuclear medicine bone scan is a test that helps physicians detect and track several types of bone diseases. It is used to diagnose a bone injury that is undetectable on a standard x-ray and to show whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment.
The thyroid scan is a nuclear medicine test that uses a radioactive tracer and a special camera to access the activity of the thyroid. It can also show the size, shape, and position of the thyroid gland as well as finding areas of the thyroid gland that are overactive or under-active.
A thyroid ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive method that uses sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. This scan may be ordered if a thyroid function test is abnormal or if your doctor feels a growth on your thyroid during a routine physical or other imaging exam.
A transvaginal ultrasound is a personally invasive examination that involves a small, lubricated probe, called a transducer being inserted into the vagina. This type of pelvic ultrasound produces much more detailed pictures of a woman's reproductive organs when compared to external ultrasound scanning of the pelvis from the lower abdomen.
Ultrasound Guided Thoracentesis
Thoracentesis uses ultrasound imaging guidance and a needle to help diagnose and treat pleural effusions, a condition in which the space between the lungs and the inside of the chest wall contains excess fluid. It is performed to help determine the cause of the excess fluid and to ease any shortness of breath or pain by removing the fluid and relieving pressure on the lungs.