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:
CRMC’s advanced mammography system uses digital technology to provide a clear, high-resolution image within seconds, allowing the physician to adjust brightness, change contrast 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 the American College of Radiology (ACR).
If an abnormality or suspicious area is found, a small biopsy may be performed stereotactically, using computerized images to guide the 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.
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.
It 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.)
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.
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 the function of the gall bladder, liver, spleen and other organs.
Exercise Stress Test
Also referred to as Treadmill Test, Regular Exercise Test or Exercise Cardiac Stress Test.
During this test, you will be connected to a heart monitor while walking on a treadmill. Information about your heart function is gathered through measurement of your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and heart rhythm findings, as well as how tired you become when exercising. This test can help diagnose coronary artery disease, provide information about symptoms such as chest pain, and determine a safe level of exercise. Please refer to the test instructions form below for full details and to help you prepare for the test.
Exercise Perfusion Stress Test (Exercise Thallium Stress Test)
An exercise perfusion stress test is similar to an exercise stress test, except a perfusion test measures blood flow to your heart using small amounts of radioactive tracers. These tracers are safe and help provide an image of the blood flow to your heart during exercise (walking on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bicycle) and while at rest. Please refer to the test instructions form below for full details and to help you prepare for the test.
Stress Nuclear Perfusion Test (also called Nuclear Stress Test)
Like an Exercise Perfusion Stress Test, this test also uses special pictures of the heart to measure blood flow at rest and under stress. While an exercise perfusion stress test uses a treadmill or a stationary bicycle to stress your heart, this nuclear perfusion test stresses the heart with medication. The exercise response is achieved by giving you an intravenous drug to raise your heart rate, which mimics an exercise response. Once the target heart rate is achieved, a small dose of radioactive tracer (thallium or technetium) is injected to create the pictures. Please refer to the test instructions form below for full details and to help you prepare for the test.
Stress Echocardiography (also called Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram)
An echocardiogram ultrasound of your heart is performed at rest and with exercise. If you cannot exercise, an infusion of medication through an intravenous (IV) line may be used to mimic exercise. You are closely monitored during this test, while information is obtained about your heart chambers and heart valve functioning. Please refer to the test instructions form below for full details and to help you prepare for the test.
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test
A cardiopulmonary Exercise Stress Test (CPX) determines how well your heart, lungs, and muscles respond to increasing levels of exercise. This test will tell your physician if you have a normal or abnormal response to exercise. Furthermore, this test can help your physician determine why you cannot tolerate higher levels of activity or exercise and to facilitate recommendations for a more tailored exercise program. Please refer to the test instructions form below for full details and to help you prepare for the test.
For more details on how to prepare for all Radiology Department tests, the length of time each test will take, how to dress, food or liquid intake requirements, click here:
For information on imaging services at CRMC, call 912.384.1900, ext. 4138, or fax 912.383.6941.