X-rays are 2-D photos created by small amounts of radiation. The images can help diagnose certain diseases and show bone fractures.
CT scans, also known as CAT scans, use a single X-ray machine to take pictures from many different angles. A computer then puts the images together into a 3-D image of the body. CT scans offer physicians a larger amount of information than X-rays.
During certain exams, a contrast agent may be used to make blood flow or certain organs easier to see.
Nuclear Medicine Imaging
Nuclear medicine imaging uses an I.V. injected or ingested low-level radioactive isotopes to help physicians determine organ size, shape and function. A special camera can then take images of the isotopes as they move through the body and into organs. The amount of radiation is typically less than a conventional X-ray or CT Scan. Nuclear medicine imaging is most often used when the function of an organ is important to diagnosis, not simply the shape or size of the organ.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to produce detailed, digital images of the body. MRIs offer more advanced imaging than X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans, giving physicians a better way to look at the body and diagnose diseases or problems.
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray study of the breast. It is designed to identify breast cancer early in its development, even when it is too small to feel.
A screening mammogram is done in women who have no signs of breast cancer, and typically involves two X-rays of each breast to help discover tumors that cannot be felt.
Diagnostic mammograms take more X-rays from a wider variety of angles than screening mammograms. They are done to evaluate abnormalities that appear on screening mammograms, or if the patient has lumps, breast pain, breast thickening, nipple discharge or an inexplicable change in breast size or shape. Diagnostic mammograms may also be used for breasts that are difficult to see clearly on X-rays because of special circumstances such as breast implants.
The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that women over 40 have regular mammograms. Mammograms may be required at a younger age for women with a family history.
Ultrasound with 3-D/4-D Imaging
Ultrasound imaging involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use radiation. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs and blood flowing through the blood vessels.
Conventional ultrasounds display the images in thin, flat sections of the body. Advancements in ultrasound technology include 3-D ultrasounds that format the sound wave into 3-D images. 4-D ultrasounds are 3-D ultrasounds in motion.
This test uses sound waves to watch heart functions. IU Health Arnett Hospital performs echocardiograms for IU Health White Memorial Hospital.
Bone Density Scan (Using Dexa)
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), or bone densitometry, uses low radiation X-rays to determine bone mineral density. The test is typically performed on the hip or lower spine. It is noninvasive and only takes five to ten minutes.