Tag Archives: CT Scan

A ‘computerized tomography’ (CT) or ‘computerized axial tomography’ (CAT) scan uses a computer that takes data from several X-ray images of structures inside a human’s or animal’s body and converts them into pictures on a monitor.

CDI Miami | Thursday February 16, 2017

Doctor’s Orders: Is it the right time to get a CT Scan?

A new report in tomorrow’s issues of the New England Journal of Medicine raises serious concerns about the use, and overuse of CT scanning. While individual risks of developing cancer from a CT scan are relatively low, the researchers ventured that repeated exposure to radiation from diagnostic imaging could potentially threaten patient populations if left unchecked.

How can you tell if it is time to get a CT scan?

In a traditional X-ray – a chest X-ray, for example – radiation goes through you from one side to the other with 3-D information ultimately projected onto a two-dimensional picture. With a CT scan, an X-ray tube rotates around the patient and presents the results to you as a three-dinensional picture. The advantage is that it’s much more sensitive, is high resolution, and offers much more anatomically specific information with great detail.

When should you get a CT scan?

If you think something is desperately wrong with you and you need an immediate answer. For example, if you have sudden severe abdominal pain or an intense headache that came out of nowhere.

CT scans are incredibly accurate, and can help you determine the source of your pain. For instance, CT scans can prevent false-diagnosis of appendicitis, having reduced false positives by nearly 20%.

Are their risks involved in CT scanning?

There is very minimal risk in CT scanning.  For children, the risk of developing a fatal cancer from radiation exposure is somewhere around 1 in 500 or 1 in 1,000 – the older you get, the lower the risk becomes. For an adult, the risk is around 1 in 2,000. At this point, people believe there is a linear relationship between the dose and risk in half.

Are there alternatives to CT scanning that patients should know about or ask their doctors?

You can always ask if there are ways to find out the answer without using radiation. Using ultrasound, for example, or doing an MRI scan. Those don’t use ionizing radiation, so there is virtually no risk. If a child is getting a scan, the parent can make sure that the radiology technician is using the correct pediatric doses.

Are CT scans useful for asymptomatic patients?

CT scans are not necessary for asymptomatic patients. Scans should only be used when there is a suspicion of an illness or disorder. There are still studies determining the risk profile of scans on different populations.

CDI Miami | Friday September 9, 2016

CT scan vs MRI

A CT Scan (or CAT Scan) is best suited for viewing bone injuries, diagnosing lung and chest problems, and detecting cancers. An MRI is suited for examining soft tissues in ligament and tendon injuries, spinal cord injuries, brain tumors, etc. CT scans are implemented in emergency rooms and the scan can take fewer than 5 minutes. An MRI, on the other hand, can take up to 30 minutes.

Advantages of MRI over CT Scan
 A CAT scan uses X rays to build up a picture. An MRI uses a magnetic field to do the same and has no known side effects related to radiation exposure.

 MRI gives higher detail in soft tissues

 Another advantage of MRI is the ability to change the imaging plane without moving the patient.

Advantages of CT Scan over MRI

 CT is best for imaging bone structures

 An MRI is contraindicated for patients with surgical clips, metallic fragments, cardiac monitors or pacemakers cannot receive an MRI.

 Treatment time is shorter than an MRI

 MRI cannot be done on claustrophobic patients as the patient has to remain inside a noisy machine for up to 45 minutes

 CT scans are less expensive than an MRI. A CT scan costs $1,200 to $3,200; while an MRI can cost upwards of $4,000.
Machine Cost

These machines can cost from several hundred thousand to millions of dollars – which explains why treatments are so expensive. A basic CT scan can cost between $ 85,000 to $150,000. A 16-slice scanner costs $145,000 to $225,000 and the top-of-the-line 64-slice CTs can cost up to $450,000. The machines may typically need annual maintenance, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

For more information about diagnostic imaging services in South Florida, contact us here. Call us Toll Free at 800-371-0002.

CDI Miami | Tuesday June 21, 2016

The ALARA Principal

Intrinsic to working in radiology is working with radioactive materials. Although we will always be exposed to some level of radiation, we use the ALARA principal (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) to keep exposure to a minimum.

 

This principle assumes that there is no threshold for inducing “biological effects” and therefore any dose of radiation carries with it some risk. In other words, there is no level of “safe” radiation.

 

Using the strategies of Time, Distance, and Shielding, we can keep radioactive exposure as low as reasonably achievable. This maximizes efficacy for your treatment and keeps everyone safe, especially our patients. Below is a list of techniques we use to minimize radiation exposure:

 

alara principle

    1. Safe delivery of radiopharmaceuticals – When the syringe is being held with the plunger or needle, we make sure that it is managed with the utmost precaution, and, we take advantage of remote injectors whenever possible.

 

  • Transportation of Patients – How close to the back of the wheelchair are we standing when transporting a patient? Do we maintain appropriate distance when we are walking them out of the department or when we enter the scan room?

 

 

  • Cleaning up spills (including patient blood or body fluids) – This relates to how quickly we isolate and remove fluids that could contaminate the scan room, or mitigate the effect of the treatment.

 

 

  • Holding / Lifting Patients – We pay particular attention to where we stand in relation to our patients, especially if we have our radiation badge on.

 

 

  • Radioactive Tracers – When using these in treatment, we make sure that the all the precautions are made, so that we can have a safe and efficient treatment.

 

 

  • During PET/CT/MRI Scans – We drape our patient’s bodies with a radioactive shield, isolating the exposure to only the areas that need treatment.

 

 

These techniques are just a tiny sample of the ways we consider your wellbeing during our examinations. For diagnostic imaging services, including PET/CT Scans, MRIs, and Mammograms contact the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in Miami.

 

 

CDI Miami | Wednesday June 1, 2016

News: Chemo, Radiation, Surgery Combo Boosts Survival for Pancreatic Cancer Group

Recent Mayo Clinic research suggests that many pancreatic cancer patients whose tumors have grown around the pancreas to encompass critical blood vessels are candidate for surgery, even though conventional wisdom has suggested otherwise. The organization has been fine-tuning a protocol to treat this group – which accounts for roughly one-third of pancreatic cancer patients – and in two studies found survival now stretching into years.
“We’re definitely seeing a revolution,” said Mark Truty, M.D., a gastrointestinal surgical oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who is first author of one abstract and senior author of the other. “A lot of this has to do with better chemotherapy drugs and use of what we call multimodal therapy: chemotherapy, radiation and then an aggressive operation. Now we can potentially offer these therapies to patients who previously were told they had no options.”

pancreatic cancer news

About 50,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in the United States. Historically, only about 7 percent of pancreatic cancer patients have lived at least five years after diagnosis.

Because the cancer tends to spread before symptoms appear, it is found early enough to make surgery a clear-cut option in only about 15 percent of patients. In about half of patients, the cancer has spread throughout the body by the time it is diagnosed, ruling out surgery.

In one-third of patients, cancer hasn’t spread through the body, but has grown around veins and arteries in and around the pancreas. For decades, surgery was considered too risky and ineffective to be performed in most of those patients. The Mayo studies chronicle a transformation in treatment for these patients.

In the study presented at the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract annual meeting, researchers analyzed surgical outcomes for the past 25 years among such stage 3 patients who had surgery requiring removal and reconstruction of arteries. They found that most of the operations on this group were performed in the past five years, since the advent of improved chemotherapy and radiation.

Although these surgeries carry more risk than operations not requiring removal and reconstruction of arteries, there appeared to be a significant long-term survival advantage in patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation followed by such aggressive operations. Those who had surgery without chemotherapy or radiation first didn’t do well long-term, while patients who had chemotherapy and/or radiation before surgery did significantly better long-term, the researchers found. Looking at short-term outcomes, they discovered that complication rates have decreased over time.

“All in all, it shows that these patients, who would typically not be offered an operation, can have good short-term and long-term results with the appropriate protocol and treatment sequence,” Truty said.

In the study presented at the Pancreas Club meeting, researchers analyzed modern surgical outcomes for stage 3 patients whose tumors involved blood vessels and who had a specific protocol of chemotherapy, radiation and aggressive surgery.

Eighty patients have now gone through the Mayo protocol with data available for review. The study found that the median survival time after patients complete the protocol is approaching four years, about four times that of patients who do not have surgery. The patients who do even better than that include:

  • -Those who receive more chemotherapy before surgery;
  • -People who have a particular tumor marker known as CA 19-9 that returns to normal after chemotherapy; and
  • -Those whose tumors, when analyzed after removal, are found to have only minimal cancer left.

The study also found that in a majority of patients, computed tomography (CT) scans before surgery showed that their tumors didn’t shrink after chemotherapy. However, when the tumors were removed, it turned out most of the cancer was dead.

“We’re hoping that data from this analysis will now spread to the rest of the country, and now people will have a road map for how to treat these patients and how to choose which patients will benefit from such complex operations,” Truty said. He hopes patients feel a sense of optimism, that there are options.

“Not everyone wants to sign up for these big operations or these long protocols of chemotherapy and radiation. But they have the options available to them to make that educated decision about whether this is something that would benefit them,” Truty said. “We’re offering an additional bit of hope for a pretty substantial number of patients who had previously been ignored.”

Originally published by Imaging Technology News.

 

CDI Miami | Tuesday May 24, 2016

Nuclear Medicine – New World of Diagnosing and Treating Illness

Over the past century, radiology has evolved into more sophisticated forms of medical treatment. One of these forms is nuclear medicine. Nuclear medicine features the ability to search for an array of diseases in multiple areas of the body. From heart, brain, lung and bone to different types of cancer, this new and improved medicine can correctly diagnose many diseases. Now, more and more medical professionals along with the Center for Diagnostic Imaging are adopting nuclear medicine for a painless and far more accurate scan.

 

Nuclear medicine is unsurpassed in accuracy by any other form of radiology, it is noninvasive and painless medical procedure used by physicians to help diagnose medical conditions. “During the first part of the test the patient will have to walk on a treadmill to increase the patient´s heart rate. Then, the patient will be injected with a thallium solution that will travel through the heart vessels and work as contrast. The heart will be scanned using a “gamma” camera that will track the injected solution and create a picture of the heart vessels. After the patient´s blood pressure has lowered, more images of the heart will be taken. The patient should expect to be in the office for at least four hours.” Says the Miami Center for Diagnostic Imaging.

 

There are a number of bodily functions, diseases, and cancers that can be identified through the use of nuclear medicine. Abnormalities of the brain, respiratory health, and blood flow can be properly visualized inside out. Not to mention bone scans are made possible thanks to nuclear medicine. Additionally, transplants in the previous body parts can be identified for rejection.

 

Diagnosable diseases include coronary artery disease, metastatic bone disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer disease. Of course, cancerous tissue can be detected in nearly all parts of the body, even rare tumors of the pancreas and adrenal glands. Other evaluations for hyperparathyroidism, lymphedema, spinal fluid and possible bleeding in the bowls are achievable through nuclear medicine.

 

One significant advantage nuclear medicine can provide in the evaluation and diagnosis of the patient is the ability to fuse images from both full body CT and MRI scans in order to create more precise measurements of the patients systems. This is called a PET/CT scan. The precision and accuracy provided by these scans is unparalleled.

 

While non-invasive there is preparation on behalf of the patient that must be taken. This can sometimes be up to a week ahead of time for the patient to be ready. Preparation can include stopping a medication regimen in which it is patient responsibility to consult their physician before doing so. All in all, though the patient should not experience any discomfort from nuclear medicine.

 

For more information about CDI Diagnostic and Preventive Services please call 1.800.371.0002 or contact us.

CDI Miami | Tuesday May 10, 2016

Mobile Diagnostic Imaging: The Next Big Thing?

ct scanner in a specialized stroke ambulance

A specialized stroke ambulance, called VIMED STEMO, carries a portable CT scanner and a point-of-care laboratory for nearly-instant diagnosis and initiation of treatment in stroke patients.
Source: http://www.medgadget.com/

Portable X-ray and CT scan devices are on the rise for patients with mobility issues. Portable X-ray and CT scan devices wirelessly communicate and share data, via cellular, WLAN, WMAN, WPAN, and WWAN (read: WIFI) communication networks. Furthermore, these devices act as intermediaries between patients and healthcare staff; monitoring patients and providing therapy, imaging, and diagnostics. The device is paired with a machine that allows it to transfer and store digital images almost instantly. Continue reading

CDI Miami | Tuesday January 26, 2016

The Benefits of PET/CT Scans

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning adds a whole new dimension to a radiologist’s ability to diagnose and directly treat disease.  PET scans show metabolic function and abnormal molecular cell activity from anatomic structures. PET scans can detect very small cancerous tumors as well as subtle changes in the brain and heart.

It is a nuclear medicine imaging test used to diagnose a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, etc. In PET scanning, a patient is injected with a radioactive tracer infused with simple sugars.  Cancerous cells and metabolically active organs metabolize these sugars much faster than normal cells.  As these sugars are consumed, they begin to decay and emit positrons.  These emissions collide with electrons, sending gamma rays out from the body.  These rays are captured and processed by a computer to form “hot spots” on the images.

Since the disease process begins at a chemical level long before it presents structural changes, the information from a PET scan can provide radiologists a signal that there is a problem even before anything would show up through normal examinations.

PET scans are a valuable tool; PET scans have recently been combined with computed tomography (CT) scanning technology to increase results.  CT imaging uses X-ray equipment to create detailed images of slices of the inside of the body. The PET-CT combination allows any abnormality on the PET scan to be precisely located within the body, allowing for more accurate diagnosis of any problems. Both types of scan are critical in diagnosing disease. Before the PET CT scan option, radiologists had to perform both scans separately and then compare images to determine the location of an abnormality within the body. Combined PET CT scanning provides the detailed information of CT with the “hot spot” information of the PET scan, offering more accuracy in targeting a disease site through only one exam.

These scans can often detect disease much earlier, allowing for treatment and cure with higher success. It can also show the “staging” of a disease, providing radiologists with invaluable information about the disease’s growth and progression. They can show whether a tumor is benign or cancerous and can also monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

PET scanning is a powerful diagnostic test that is having a major impact on the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It provides unique information which may assist in making a diagnosis, in determining treatment or providing the likely outcome of any disease.

Nuclear medicine tests, with a full body scan through the use of PET technology can provide information on how tissue or organs are working, which cannot be obtained from other imaging techniques. PET scans may detect disease earlier than other types of scanning by identifying early changes to tissue and organs.

Radiologists at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging use this advanced technology as their preferred choice to provide outstanding patient care with preventative and diagnostic purposes.

CDI Miami | Tuesday December 22, 2015

3D Mammography – 21st Century Breastcare

CBCC

 

 

If caught early, breast cancer can be treated with a very high success rate. Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers because of the advancements in lumpectomy and mastectomy surgery, and the early detection methods that have been developed in recent times.
Nevertheless, the discovery of any type of cancer is extremely distressing. It has a huge impact on people’s lives. Breast cancer is particularly upsetting for women, because their breasts are considered part of their femininity and sexuality.

 

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging always recommends that women have regular mammograms so that their physicians can detect any occurrence of cancerous cells at a very early stage. This is the stage at which non-invasive treatments can usually get the cancer sufferer into remission. In order to have the scans done, a woman must find a convenient imaging center that complies with her physician’s standards. Many women in South Florida choose one of the CDI Miami offices, conveniently located in Aventura, North Miami Beach and South Dade.

 

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging always recommends that women have regular mammograms so that their physicians can detect any occurrence of cancerous cells at a very early stage. This is the stage at which non-invasive treatments can usually get the cancer sufferer into remission. In order to have the scans done, a woman must find a convenient imaging center that complies with her physician’s standards. Many women in South Florida choose one of the CDI Miami offices, conveniently located in Aventura, North Miami Beach and South Dade.

 

Medical imaging can get expensive, so it is vitally important that patients find a center they can trust, where they know they will receive the best quality images that do not contain any errors.The South Florida CDI offices have the very latest imaging equipment available in every center. Fully qualified radiologists, experts at using the scanners and reading the results, are employed at every CDI location.The Center for Diagnostic Imaging’s facilities in North Miami Beach uses 3D mammography, an imaging technique that can detect breast cancer at a very early stage. An MRI scan can pinpoint disease centers in the body and these can be monitored on a regular basis for any changes, which could indicate future potential problems. People searching for a pet scan in Miami will find that CDI Miami comes highly recommended, based on the local popularity of the centers and the high quality of service offered at every location. CDI Miami even gives patients the option to have a full body CT scan. This will give the radiologists an entire map of what is going on inside the body so that potential disease can be detected. This information is then passed onto the patient’s physician. Any abnormalities that show up can then be treated immediately, or monitored to check for any developments. So many people who end up with life-threatening illnesses and conditions could have been saved a lot of pain and anguish if they had been able to detect problems and treat them at a very early stage.

 

About CDI Miami: CDI Miami is the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, the premier center for CT scan Miami with locations in South Florida at Aventura, North Miami Beach, and South Dade. For more information and to book a consultation, call toll free on 800-371-0002 or visit cdimiami.com

 

CDI Miami | Tuesday November 17, 2015

CDI’s Latest Technology to Help Maintain and Improve Health

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging of Miami, announces helping patients maintain their healthy lifestyles and improving chances of catching and treating severe illnesses and diseases, with their latest full body scanning technology.

The medical technology used to operate full body scans are noninvasive, painless and require low dosages of radiation.

Continue reading

CDI Miami | Wednesday October 14, 2015

Saving Time and Money by Combining Diagnostic Medical Imaging Tests

Many patients do not ask questions about the types of diagnostic medical imaging tests their doctors order.  However, patients should not be afraid to start a dialog with their doctors and talk about whether it might make sense to have a second, different type of scan done at the same time.  In many cases, doing so can save the patient time and money.  Continue reading