MRI, CT, Nuclear...

Understanding your diagnostic test

Computed Tomography (CT) 

Computed Tomography (CT), sometimes called CT or CAT scan, uses special computer-aided x-ray equipment to obtain images from different angles around the body. Cross-sectional views of body tissues and organs are generated, which are then used to define normal and abnormal structures in the body. It can also help professionals in accurate placement of instruments or treatments within the body. 

United Memorial Medical Center recently installed at The Jerome Center a cutting-edge 64-slice CT scanner, providing patients with top-of-the-line benefits associated with this technology. In addition to improved imaging quality, the 64-slice CT scanner has improved efficiency in scheduling and timing of results. 

DEXA

DEXA is a fast, convenient, and precise way to measure your bone mass and let you know if you’re at risk for osteoporosis. If you already have osteoporosis, DEXA enable us to monitor your response to treatment.

Our DEXA system measures the bone mineral content and density of bones — mainly hip and spine – that are most susceptible to fracture. It also compares your bone density to that of a healthy person of the same age and sex. This information can help you and your doctor decide what, if any, steps should be taken to improve your bone health.

Digital Fluroscopy

Digital fluoroscopy is a form of x-ray that allows us to view deep structures of the body in real time. It provides very detailed images of function and structure of areas like the intestines, the bladder, and stomach. Unlike regular x-ray which records the image to film, digital fluoroscopy records a series of images to a computer. Once digitized, we can view the area being examined in real time on a computer monitor.

Digital fluoroscopy uses a controlled beam of energy that is passed through the body and captured by an image detector. Because the bones, organs and tissues within our bodies are composed of differing densities, the beams move through them differently. Bones for instance will absorb more of the beam than an organ or soft tissue making them appear white or gray on the image while the tissue appears darker.

Sometimes digital fluoroscopy makes use of a contrast agent like barium. These agents are radio-opaque liquids which provide a white appearance on the fluoroscopic image. As the agent moves through the exam area, generally an organ, the radiologist is able to track its path and evaluate the organ as it functions as well as size and location. 

Digital fluoroscopy is used to help physicians evaluate a wide range of internal function and structure. It is most commonly used:

  • To visualize the digestive tract

  • To observe cardiac movement

  • To assess joint movement

  • In infertility testing

Digital Mammography

United Memorial Medical Center is proud to be of the first facility in Genesee County to offer digital mammography. If you have already experienced conventional analog mammography, there will be no difference in how the exam is performed when using digital mammography. There are no longer size limitations on who can receive a digital mammography exam.

The difference is in the processing of the exam. Because it is digital, the resulting images are available quicker so the technologist can immediately determine if positioning adequately exhibits as much breast tissue as possible.

Once the exam is complete, the images are sent directly to the radiologists' workstation for review. Studies have shown that the digital exam saves patients valuable time and additional radiation exposure by reducing the need for repeat imaging. Additionally, the Digital Mammographic Screening Trial (DMIST) found that digital technology is superior to analog when it comes to younger women or those with dense breasts.

Mammography uses low-dose X-ray to examine the breasts. Medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer often is linked to early diagnosis. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.

Mammography at The Jerome Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). ACR Accreditation programs provide a high level of confidence for patients, referring physicians and managed care organizations that only the highest quality care is being provided. The ACR certificate of accreditation gives assurance that staff and equipment have passed the ACR’s rigorous evaluation criteria.

Contact United Memorial's Healthy Living Center at (585) 344-5331 for more information on breast health.  

MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a large magnet that transmits radio frequency signals through the body, and employs sophisticated computers to produce a series of magnetically generated images. These images can be used to diagnose many conditions or monitor the progress of treatment for diseases. Since MRI can see through bone and clearly define soft tissue, it can be used to make a diagnosis in some areas that x-rays cannot.

United Memorial Medical Center's MRI provides faster imaging and shorter times. The design of the MRI is patient friendly with a shorter, wider opening.

Our MRI is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  ACR Accreditation programs provide a high level of confidence for patients, referring physicians and managed care organizations that only the highest quality care is being provided. The ACR certificate of accreditation gives assurance that staff and equipment have passed the ACR’s rigorous evaluation criteria. 

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine uses very small, safe amounts of radioactive materials, or tracers, to help diagnose and treat a variety of diseases. Depending on the type of exam, these tracers are either swallowed or injected into your body, where they emit energy in the form of gamma rays. You then are scanned with a special gamma camera, which detects the rays and produces computer images of organs and tissues.

There are nearly 100 different types of nuclear imaging procedures, including PET scans, bone scans, and heart scans. Unlike other imaging procedures, which focus on structural appearance, nuclear imaging scans show how an organ, tissue, or bone functions. As a result, nuclear imaging often can identify potential problems long before they can be detected by other imaging methods.

The following tests are performed in the United Memorial Medical Center Nuclear Medicine Department:

  • Persantine – Dipyridamole

  • Bone Scans

  • Hida Scan – Gallbladder

  • Cardiolite Stress Test

  • Cardiolite Stress Test – with Diapyridamole

  • MUGA Scan

  • Lung Scan

  • Thyroid Uptake and Scan

  • And others 

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) 

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a powerful imaging technique that holds great promise in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, particularly cancer. A non-invasive test, PET scans accurately image the cellular function of the human body. In a single PET scan your physician can examine your entire body. PET scanning provides a more complete picture, making it easier for your doctor to diagnose problems, determine the extent of disease, prescribe treatment, and track progress.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease states in the body. A PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body before anatomical changes take place, while the CT scan provides information about the body's anatomy such as size, shape and location. By combining these two scanning technologies, a PET/CT scan enables physicians to more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.

Ultrasound

This technology uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of organs and structures inside the body, including the cardiovascular system.
 
Ultrasound also is an excellent way to view the liver, spleen, pancreas, bladder, kidneys, and gallbladder. In addition, it is used for breast, prostate, and orthopedic imaging, to monitor the development of an unborn child, and as a guiding tool during procedures such as needle biopsies. 

In 3D ultrasound, the same ultrasound used in traditional 2D is emitted – this time at multiple angles. 3D ultrasound images are created by an algorithmic process commonly known as “surface rendering”. These multiple reflections are interpreted through sophisticated software, and an accurate 3D image of the baby is instantly created. These amazing rendered images are displayed with incredible surface detail which delineates both body and facial features.
It is also important to note here that the optimal time for 4D fetal imaging is between 28 and 32 weeks and is only available at The Jerome Center

As with any other emerging technology, there will always be questions regarding exposure, safety, and other medical concerns. Extensive studies over the last 30+ years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby.

X-Ray

Radiography, or X-Ray as it is more commonly known, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. Discovered more than a century ago, X-Rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body on film or on a computer screen. X-Ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones, joint or spine injuries. It also plays a key role in guiding orthopedic surgery and in the treatment of sports-related injuries.

We’re here to help

For additional information on any of our medical imaging services please call 585) 344-5444.