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Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging

Types of imaging:

Diagnostic Radiography utilizes electromagnetic radiation through which still images of any body part can be produced on digital equipment and transmitted to the PACS monitors for viewing and interpretation. These x-rays can be performed anywhere in the facility through the use of portable machines.

Fluoroscopy shows dynamic images or images in motion by way of a monitor. This is used for monitoring the gastrointestinaI tract, blood vessels, genitourinary tract, needle guidance for injections, pacemaker insertions, orthopedic surgeries and much more. This same technology is widely used in the operating room and pain management centers. Fluoroscopic procedures normally require the use of contrast media which is instilled, ingested, or injected during the procedure.

CT Scanning uses x-rays, detectors, and computer equipment to process algorithms in the formation of images. CT can detect subtle differences in tissue densities that may indicate abnormal findings. Our modern, multi-slice CT scanners play a large role in the stroke services that we offer as an accredited Bronze Award Stroke Center. CT procedures such as Liver, Lung, or Kidney Biopsies, aspirations, and drainages are also done in our CT suite.

MRI uses very strong magnetic fields to align hydrogen nuclei within the body tissue. The nuclei give off signals as they return to their normal state and these signals are gathered by small coils placed at the area of interest to generate an image. With advances in technology, MRI gives the best tissue contrast possible and it has become a top choice of musculoskeletal and neuroradiology imaging.

Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to provide real time imaging of soft tissues in the body. Ultrasound uses no ionizing or exposing radiation so, generally, it is considered safer than radiography and CT. Therefore, it is largely used for obstetrical imaging as well as for imaging of abdominal organs, heart, thyroid, and reproductive organs. Vascular ultrasound applies the same physics and technology to concentrate on vascular structures such as the carotid arteries, aorta, and various veins throughout the body . Thoracentesis and paracentesis studies are performed in our ultrasound area.

Nuclear Medicine involves the use of radionuclides or radiopharmaceuticals which are swallowed, inhaled, or injected into the body and tagged to be taken up in specific organs. As the nuclides decay in the area, they emit radiation which is picked up by the nuclear camera and transformed into images through computer processing programs. This modality is part of the basis of PET CT which is also performed on our campus in the Calvert Medical Imaging Center located in the CMAC building. We also do nuclear cardiology studies to include nuclear cardiac stress tests done in conjunction with the patient's cardiologist. Our Nuclear Medicine unit offers dual technology that includes CT to include best practice imaging in cardiac, gastrointestinal, orthopedic studies, and infectious diseases.

Interventional Radiology is the area commonly known as special procedures. These studies are done by board certified radiologists and include angiography which is the study of blood vessels, kyphoplasty to treat chronic spine pain, nephrology studies such as nephrostomy tubes and kidney biopsies, dialysis catheter insertion, stent insertion to include Medicare-approved carotid stenting, thrombectomy procedures, UFE or uterine fibroid embolization, and other procedures such as Mediport and central line insertions.

Central Venous Access or PICC services are available which indicates the use of a peripherally inserted central catheter that is a long, slender, flexible catheter usually inserted into the upper arm and advanced until the tip reaches a large vein near the heart. Ultrasound in used to verify placement and the procedure is usually followed by a chest x-ray to assure correct final placement. These lines are normally used for long-term antiobiotic treatment, multiple access, nutrition and they are less invasive and used for longer periods than other methods.

Interventional Radiology Clinic services are by appointment only during which time the Interventional Radiologist will meet with patients and families to discuss history, known pathologies, diagnostic testing, and treatment options. Patients are referred to the IR Clinic by their primary or consulting physicians.

Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization includes the visualization of the heart and associated blood vessels via a catheter that is inserted into the femoral artery. Upon insertion, contrast media is injected and images are seen on the monitor. The purpose of diagnostic cardiac catheterization is to collect information about the heart and the condition of the organ and blood vessels that supply blood to the area. Special hemodynamic monitoring is performed during the catheterization to record pertinent information about the condition of the patient's heart and coronary vessels. Cardiac catheterizations are performed by board certified cardiologists.