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Diagnostic Radiology

Services Overview

A radiological exam is designed to see "inside" a specific area of your body for the purpose of diagnosis. St. Rita's offers several different types of imaging exams, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Computed Tomography (CT), PET (Positron Emission Tomography), PET/CT Fusion, Ultrasound, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Fluoroscopy, conventional radiography (X-ray), Heart CT, and more.

Each type of exam has its' own guidelines, which you may read about in this web site. Special instructions for your exam will be by your doctor or given at the time of scheduling. For certain procedures, a representative will contact you 24 to 48 hours prior to your exam with preparation instructions. Instructions may include diet restrictions, medication use, and other self-care needs associated with your exam.

Listed below is a list of terms that are commonly found in diagnostic radiology:

Angiography is a type of X-ray that is done to visualize blood vessels in the heart, brain, and kidneys and other parts of the body. This procedure helps to determine whether the blood vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or obstructed.

Computed Axial Tomography (CT or CAT scan) uses a special camera to look inside your body. The cross-sectional pictures produced are like "slices in a loaf of bread". During a CT exam the scanner takes many cross-sectional images. The images are created with the help of a computer and are capable of showing internal body parts in much greater detail than standard X-ray films. This greatly improves the doctor's ability to diagnose a medical condition.

DEXA Scan is used to diagnose osteoporosis in men and women. The following are some of the risk factors for osteoporosis: female, Caucasian, advanced age, history of bone fracture, small thin frame, family history of osteoporosis, removal of the ovaries, early menopause, low calcium diet, lack of exercise, eating disorders, medicines (such as steroids or anticonvulsants) and alcohol and tobacco usage.

Peripheral Vascular Doppler testing examines the blood flow in the major arteries and veins in the arms and legs with the use of ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) that echo off the body.

Doppler Ultrasonography uses audio as a means to hear the "swishing" noise of the blood flow.

Fluoroscopy obtains "live" X-ray images of a patient. It is often used to observe the digestive tract or gastrointestinal system (GI system). Fluoroscopy is used in tests such as an upper GI series or barium swallow, or a lower GI series referred to as a barium enema or BE.

Mammogram is a special X-ray of the breast. It is a radiological procedure available to detect small cancers long before you or your doctor can feel them. As the X-rays pass through the breast tissue, an actual picture of the tissue inside the breast is obtained. This image helps the radiologist to determine whether or not the breast tissue is normal or needs further tests. St. Rita's has standard and digital mammography. Board certified radiologists read the mammograms and are aided by CAD (Computer Aided Detection) technology.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI or MR) is one of the safest, most comfortable imaging techniques available. It combines a powerful magnet with an advanced computer system and radio waves to produce accurate, detailed pictures of organs and tissues to diagnose a variety of medical conditions.

Nuclear Medicine is a branch of radiology that uses radioactive materials to determine if certain organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid, brain and lungs are working properly. It is also used to examine the bones for cancer, infection or trauma.

PET images can provide important information about many conditions affecting the heart, brain, and other organs. It helps your doctor plan the right treatment for you. PET images are different than those from more conventional imaging, such as X-ray, CT, Ultrasound, or MRI. These images show what the tissues look like. PET images contain information about the tissue function.

PET/CT Fusion combines both PET and CT images to show anatomy (tissue) and metabolic (energy) much like weather radar shows precipitation. It helps your doctor diagnose certain conditions as well as see if current treatment is working, such as cancer treatment.

Ultrasound (or sonography) is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to show what is inside your body.

X-ray has been called one of the most significant advances in all of medical history. It is used in many different ways in medical diagnosis. An X-ray image is produced when a small amount of radiation passes through the body and strikes a sheet of sensitive film placed on the other side of the body.





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