Advanced Medical Imaging

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What is an MRI?

An MRI is a medical imaging technology that uses radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, joints, tumors, areas of infection, and more. These very high-quality pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased soft tissues of the body, making it especially useful for a wide range of different types of imaging, including neurological and musculoskeletal. If necessary, a contrast agent may be used to help your doctor to see the MRI image more clearly.

What is a CT?

Commonly referred to as a CAT scan, a CT is a medical imaging method that provides detailed 3-D images of areas inside the body. CT uses a thin beam of x-rays to take a series of cross-sectional pictures of specific organs or areas inside the body from multiple different angles. The CT’s computer then analyzes the pictures and constructs a three-dimensional image of the area of interest. During some CT scans, a contrast “dye” is used to outline blood vessels or highlight organs of the body so that they can be seen more easily.

What is an ultrasound?

Also known as medical sonography or ultrasonography, ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. By sending sound waves into the body and measuring the returning sound waves, the ultrasound machine is able to convert the sound echoes into a picture. In addition to producing an image, ultrasound technology can also produce audible sounds of blood flow, enabling medical professionals to use both sounds and visuals to assess a patient’s health.

What is an X-Ray?

X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation. An x-ray machine sends individual x-ray particles through the body. The images are recorded on a computer or film.

  • Structures that are dense (such as bone) will block most of the x-ray particles and will appear white.
  • Metal and contrast media (special dye used to highlight areas of the body) will also appear white.
  • Structures containing air will be black, and muscle, fat, and fluid will appear as shades of gray.

What do you mean, my exam is with contrast?

Contrast is used in some exams to improve the visibility of internal body structures that are administered intravenously. At AMI, we use a gadolinium-based product called MAGNEVIST when performing a contrast study in our High Field Open MRI. ULTRAVIST is the product used when performing a contrast study in CT. CT examinations can also require oral contrast, a Barium Sulfate solution in a berry flavor is utilized.

If you have more questions, please contact our office at (262) 554-9787.

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