CT is used in the evaluation of pain, masses, trauma as well as many other medical problems. Our multislice CT scanner provides rapid, high resolution images of the entire body with the ability to perform multiplanar reconstructions and 3D images. Perhaps its greatest utility is in the area of CT angiography (CTA). This is a non-invasive technique that is used to evaluate the vascular system of the body with great accuracy. CTA is an alternative to conventional, invasive catheter based angiography. Also available are CT guided biopsies and interventions.
Our 1.5 Tesla (high field strength) MRI scanner provides high resolution images of the body. This technique uses magnetic fields to create images without the use of ionizing radiation. MRI is used to evaluate the brain for underlying abnormalities and plays an important role in the diagnosis of acute stroke. MRI is the preferred method to evaluate the peripheral joints, extremities and spine. MRI is also used to evaluate the soft tissues and organ systems of the neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is an MRI technique that visualizes the vascular system of the body from head to toe. The MRI scanner at St. Francis Hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology.
Ultrasound is utilized for imaging of the neck, abdomen and pelvis for masses, inflammatory processes, fluid collections or abnormalities of the organ systems and plays a major role in obstetrical and gynecological evaluation. Vascular ultrasound studies are performed to evaluate the arterial and venous systems of the body. These include transcranial Doppler, carotid duplex Doppler and venous and arterial imaging of the abdomen, pelvis and extremities. Ultrasound guided aspiration, biopsies and drainages are also available. The ultrasound department at St. Francis Hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology for both general ultrasound studies as well as all vascular ultrasound examinations.
General x-rays of all areas of the body can be performed on an elective or emergency basis. These include: X-rays of the head and neck including the facial bones, nasal bones, orbits, sinuses and soft tissues of the neck. X-rays of the joints and extremities, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine as well as contrast myelography of the spine. X-Rays of the chest, ribs, abdomen and pelvis. Intravenous urograms (IVP) to evaluate the urinary tract.
Fluoroscopic studies of the gastrointestinal tract including upper gastrointestinal examinations, small bowel series and barium enemas.
Video swallowing studies are also performed in conjunction with speech therapy.
The full gamut of nuclear imaging studies are performed at St. Francis Hospital. This includes bone scans, renal scans, lung (V/Q) scans and white blood cell scans for infection. The gastrointestinal imaging studies that are performed include: Gastroesophageal reflux, GI bleeding and gastric emptying studies and Meckel’s scans. Thyroid uptake and scanning are performed using I 123. Thyroid treatment with I 131 is also provided. Gated heart scans (MUGA) are performed to evaluate left ventricular function and cardiac nuclear stress testing is performed in conjunction with the heart station.
Interventional radiology procedures are a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. This includes imaging guided aspirations or drainages of collections in the body, as well as biopsies of masses. Urinary and Biliary tract interventions can be performed to bypass or relieve obstructed kidneys, gallbladders or the biliary tract. Catheter directed vascular imaging and intervention are also available.
Our mammography department is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Needle localization and biopsy/aspiration of breast masses is also available. The department of ultrasound performs breast ultrasound, including ultrasound guided cyst aspiration or mass localization. Pelvic ultrasound for evaluation of gynecologic abnormalities or masses. DEXA scans (bone densitometry) to evaluate bone mineral density of the spine and hip to determine presence of osteopenia (diminished bone density) or osteoporosis and the relative risk for fracture. DEXA can also monitor response to appropriate treatment.
The vascular system can be evaluated using different imaging modalities, each of which has its own advantages.
Vascular Ultrasound: Arterial and Venous Doppler with color imaging is used to evaluate blood flow from the neck to the feet. Images are performed in real time with no radiation.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA): Imaging of the arterial and venous circulations from head to toe without radiation. Some of these studies may need a contrast injection.
CT Angiography (CTA): Imaging of the entire arterial and venous circulations of the body. This rapid and high resolution technique provides the best visualization of small vessels, including the coronary arteries. Intravenous contrast is required with these studies.