DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES

For many medical conditions, imaging is the fastest and most powerful way to diagnose the presence or progression of disease or determine a patient’s response to certain kinds of treatment. CRMC’s radiology department contains many of the latest diagnostic imaging technologies, has a staff of 50 professionals and is open 24/7. Thanks to teleradiology, physicians can also read scans immediately, no matter where they are, no matter what hour a patient arrives in the emergency room or has a medical problem.

The CRMC Radiology Team provides the following services:

Mammography

CRMC’s advanced mammography system uses digital technology to provide a clear, high-resolution image within seconds, allowing the physician to adjust brightness, change contract and zoom in on specific areas of interest. It’s the first digital mammogram south of Macon. The system also utilizes computer-aided detection (CAD) technology, called R2 Image Checker, to analyze images and highlight any suspicious areas. The department is accredited by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American College of Radiology (ACR).

Breast biopsy

If an abnormality or suspicious area is found, a small biopsy may be performed stereotactically, using computerized images to guide insertion of a needle to remove a small sample of the abnormal breast tissue. Depending on mass location or size, biopsies also may be guided by ultrasound.

Ultrasound images

Produced by high frequency sound waves without radiation, ultrasounds are best known for giving parents the first glimpse of their baby in utero. In addition to performing ultrasound for regular pregnancies, CRMC performs level II ultrasounds for high-risk pregnancies, transmitting the images directly to peri-neonatologists in Savannah. The center’s five ultrasound units, including plethysmography (arterial pressure) and echocardiology (heart ultrasound), can also visualize adult and pediatric abdominal organs, vessels, cystic and other structures.

Bone densitometry

Is an enhanced form of x-ray used to measure bone density and detect and track osteoporosis or bone loss, by looking at the hip and spine. These simple, painless tests usually take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. (Note, bone densitometry is different than bone scans, which are looking for masses or other abnormalities and involve different technologies.)

CT scans

Computed tomography, or CAT scan, uses computer-processed X-rays to produce tomographic images or cross-sectional “slices” of specific areas of the body, thus preventing the overlay of structures not of interest. CRMC’s GE Lightspeed Pro 16 slice scanner scans 16 times faster than traditional scanners, making reports available more quickly. For some exams, a contrast material may be injected or swallowed.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Uses radio waves, instead of x-rays, to produce remarkably clear images of the head, spine or other parts of the body, distinguishing diseased from healthy soft tissue. CRMC’s MRI department uses a Siemens high field 1.5 magnet. Depending on the information needed from the MRI, an injection of contrast may be required.

Nuclear medicine

Uses injections of small amounts of radioactive material. The radioactive isotopes tag to the specific organ, tissue, or bone of interest, where they emit gamma rays to a special camera, producing clear images that can pinpoint molecular activity. This helps identify diseases like many types of cancer and cardiac, GI, endocrine, neurology and other disorders. It has the potential to detect disease in its early stages and also offers the potential to see metastases in tissue or bone, or to check function of the gall bladder, liver, spleen and other organs.

For information on imaging services at CRMC, call 912.384.1900, ext. 4138, or fax 912.383.6941.

Nirandr Inthachak, M.D.
Somnuk Pow, M.D.