Tag Archives: digital medical imaging

Medical imaging is the technique, process and art of creating visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention to reveal internal structures hidden by the skin and bones, as well as to diagnose and treat disease. Today we use computers rather than photo paper to take images, hence, digital.

CDI Miami | Thursday May 21, 2015

Going Digital Can Help Lower Radiation Dose

Digital radiography seeks to reduce the exposure to artificial radiation through diagnostic imaging. Although digital imaging has been around since the 1970s, major advances have been made in the last decade. As technology improves, the amount of radioactive material required for clear imaging decreases.


Digital radiography offers increased capabilities as compared with conventional radiography, such as post-processing, electronic archiving, concurrent access to images, and improved data distribution. Operators of digital images can vary exposure level within certain parameters without influencing the visual quality of the images, thus reducing radiation dose.


Advantages of digital imaging include ability to “develop” images within seconds as opposed to the several hours it used to take to develop x-ray films. The speed helps patient care as well as contributes to work place efficiency. The other advantage to using digital imaging is that healthcare practitioners can view the images on any computer.


Images are encrypted in a “Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS),” a password protected secure system, helpful in case of a natural disaster or sudden relocation as patient medical records can be accessed remotely.


In addition to quick storage options, digital images are also easily shared. This can be done over a local area network (LAN) within a hospital or healthcare facility, or just as easily shared within a global network. Images can be quickly retrieved with imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop. This allows quick edits, such as the removal of dust spots or blurry areas.


Digital Imaging has particularly impacted the following areas of medical imaging:

Computed Tomography (CT) Angiography


“CT angiography is one of the greatest advances in imaging,” says Jonathan Lewin, MD, chairman of the department of radiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.


It is only recently that Angiography – the examination of the blood vessels – can be done by injecting a contrast agent. Previous to this, a lengthy and complicated procedure that involved catheterization and several hours of x-rays was required to see anything in the veins.


“In the past, we had to do surgery just to see what was going on inside the body,” says Hillman, a professor of radiology at the University of Virginia. “But CT scans, MR scans, and ultrasound have become so good that they have largely done away with the need for the surgical approach.”


PET/CT Scans for Cancer


PET (positron emission tomography) has been around for several decades, however, it is only recently that it has been combined with CT scans. PET scans are designed to look at biological functions, like metabolic processes or blood flow.


“PET is able to pick up the metabolic changes associated with cancer much earlier than you could see tumors or other physical changes in the organs,” says Lewin. “By fusing PET and CT, you get to see both the metabolic information of PET and the anatomic detail of CT at once. It’s a big advance.”


Digital Mammography


“Digital mammography for breast cancer screening is a significant leap forward, it gives us a much higher level of detail than older technology,” remarks Dr. Lewin. According to a study published within The New England Journal of Medicine, digital mammography was found to be more accurate for some women, with immediate and accurate exams.


As medical imaging technology continues to advance, it is important to stay informed of the latest treatments so that your healthcare can become simpler and easier. Schedule your exam today and benefit!

CDI Miami | Friday May 1, 2015

“Google Maps” for the Human Body

New technology from German optical industrial manufacturer Zeiss, is expected to be the next game-changer for medicine.

According to Mekussa Knothe Tate, a professor from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia, the new technology has profound implications for those studying treatment methods in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Using Google algorithms, Tate and her team are able to zoom into cells at a microscopic level, “just as you would with Google maps”, reducing to “a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete.”

Tate’s team is utilizing new microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics and muscle.

“For the first time we have the ability to go from the whole body down to how the cells are getting their nutrition and how this is all connected,” explains Professor Tate. “This could open the door to as yet unknown new therapies and preventions.”

This would be the first time this system is used on humans. Professor Tate is currently pioneering partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, Brown and Stanford Universities, as well as Zeiss and Google to help crunch terabytes of data gathered from human hip studies.

“These are terabyte-sized data sets so the Google maps algorithms are helping us take this tremendous amount of information and use it effectively. They’re the traffic controllers, if you like.”

Harvard University is also studying similar research in partnership with Heidelberg in Germany to map neural pathways and connections in the brains of mice.

Studies are now being targeted between the molecular transport within different kinds of tissue such as cartilage and bone. Professor Tate has conducted research demonstrating the link between molecular transport through blood, muscle and bone, and disease status in osteoarthritic guinea pigs.

“Understanding the molecular signaling and traffic between tissues could unlock a range of treatments, including physical therapies and preventative exercise routines,” Professor Tate said.

“Advanced research instrumentation provides a technological platform to answer the hardest unanswered question in science, opening up avenues for fundamental discoveries, the implication of which may be currently unfathomable, yet which will ultimately pave the way to engineer better human health and quality of as we age,” Tate concluded.
Using previously top secret technology, Prof Melissa Knothe Tate and her team at UNSW Biomedical Engineering are zooming in and out of the human body right down to single cells, just as you would with Google maps. Starting with the knee joint, the researchers can figure out how cells behave and impact on conditions like osteoarthritis.

CDI Miami | Friday March 6, 2015

Medicare Reforms are Endangering Outpatient Imaging Centers

meidcare cuts imaging reimbusement Since the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, “Medicare has been dropping reimbursement for mostly the technical component and to a lesser extent the professional component of advanced imaging,” said David C. Levin, M.D., professor and chairman emeritus of the radiology department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in an interview for the Radiological Society of North America. “As they drop reimbursements, we’re seeing private offices begin to close, so the work is shifting to hospitals.” Since being deployed in 2007, the Deficit Reduction Act has cut imaging reimbursement significantly, with the goal of $8 billion over 10 years. Continue reading

CDI Miami | Tuesday June 10, 2014

Abdominal and Pancreatic Scans with MRCP

Ultrasonography (US) and computed tomography (CT) scanning have been the standard non-invasive techniques for showing abdominal and pancreatic diseases. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endoscopic ultrasound Miami options have also been known to show excellent results.  Now, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a new non-invasive scan option that shows fluid in the abdominal and pancreatic ducts in a 3-D image.

The magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) examination is quickly replacing other diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) examinations for scanning the abdominal and pancreatic ducts in many practical digital medical imaging centers. Despite this increase in popularity, many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiographers still find aspects of the MRCP examination quite challenging.

Although MRCP is a relatively new technique for viewing the abdominal and pancreatic ducts, usually no contrast medium has to be administered for MRCP, unlike other scanning techniques. MRCP uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce more detailed pictures.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses radiofrequency waves directed at the body to activate certain atoms in the molecules of water in the body. This is done in a strong magnetic field, which causes the protons in the nuclei of these atoms to line up, rather than face random positions. These protons emit radio signals when they return to their natural alignment. The signals are used to build a computerized image that shows differences in body tissues based on the amount of certain molecules in them. This enables extremely detailed pictures to be obtained of the abdominal and pancreatic ducts.

MRCP is an outpatient procedure that involves lying very still in an MRI scanner for several minutes at a time. This scan does not cause any pain and the entire scan should be over in around twenty minutes. Having an MRCP scan does not require any radiation exposure.

Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI Miami, however, is a test that uses radio frequency pulses and a computer to give detailed pictures of organs, tissues, bones, and a lot of other internal body structures. The magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a special type of this MRI MRA scan.

MRCP scans are used to examine diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct; evaluate patients with pancreatitis to detect the underlying cause; help to diagnose unexplained abdominal pain; and provide a less invasive alternative to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). ERCP is a diagnostic procedure that combines endoscopy, which uses an illuminated optical instrument to examine inside the body.

Treatment options for any cancer found will depend on the type of cancer that is present, how far and how fast it has spread, and the patient’s age and general health. Radiologists at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, a digital medical imaging center, will discuss all available treatment options. Three main treatment options: surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy will be discussed to find the right course of action per patient.

CDI Miami | Friday May 9, 2014

Preventing Bone Cancer with MRI MRA Scan Options

The body is made up of 206 bones (we counted), and bones are made up of mineral calcium and different types of cells. These cells continuously break down and form new bone. Primary bone cancer starts in the bone, while the more common secondary bone cancer spreads to the bone from somewhere else in the body. Radiological tests to find and diagnose bone cancer include X-rays, bone scans, and skeletal surveys.

When a patient experiences pain that could potentially be the result of bone cancer, the first step in diagnosis is usually to X-ray the area near the pain. When enough of the healthy bone in any area is worn away by cancer, the damaged area will show up as a dark spot on the X-ray; these appear like holes in the bones.

A more comprehensive test used to diagnose bone cancer is a type of X-ray called a bone scan. In this test, low doses of radioactive particles are injected intravenously, circulating through the body and selectively picked up by the bones. The substance travels through the bloodstream to the bones and organs. As it wears away, it emits levels of radiation. This radiation is detected by a camera that slowly scans the body. The camera takes pictures of how much radiation collects in the bones. A high concentration of these radioactive particles indicates the presence of cancer cells that are rapidly growing.

In order to diagnose lesions where extra bone has built up, a skeletal survey, a certain form of X-ray, may be used. Normally an X-ray is selective for a particular area of concern, but with a skeletal survey, all areas are imaged with a full body scan PET scan. Patients such as those with multiple myeloma or breast cancer for example undergo these skeletal surveys to detect bone metastases that have not yet developed symptoms observable through other means. Full body CT scan and MRI Miami scan options may also be used for skeletal surveys.

In some cases it may be appropriate to take a bone biopsy for further analysis. Either a needle biopsy or an incisional biopsy may be useful for diagnosing bone cancer. In a needle biopsy, a surgeon makes a small hole in the bone and removes a sample of tissue from the affected area with a needle like instrument. In an incisional biopsy, the surgeon cuts into the affected area, removing a small sample of tissue. The tissue is then sent to a lab for further analysis to determine whether it is cancerous or benign.

Treatment options for bone cancer will depend on the type of bone cancer that is present, how far and how fast it has spread, and the patient’s age and general health. Radiologists at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, a digital medical imaging center, will discuss all available treatment options. Three main treatment options: surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy will be discussed to find the right course of action per patient.

CDI Miami | Saturday November 9, 2013

New financing Option to Help Patients with Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses

With myriad special medical, diagnostic and screening test for discovering asymptomatic health problems, early detection of even the most chronic disease has become a possibility! Thanks to the advancement in diagnostic imaging, human body is no longer a mystery for physicians. With comprehensive inside view of a patient’s body due to advanced diagnostic imaging, it has become easier for the doctors to make a definite diagnosis and successfully manage the disease. For instance, women in Miami can potentially save their lives by reducing the risk of breast cancer through regular breast ultrasound, which detects breast tumors. Regular scanning can lead to reduced risk of developing a full-blown breast cancer in women. However, not everybody can avail the luxury of early disease detection as such diagnostic scanning and screenings are not inexpensive. Many people find it difficult to afford such out-of-pocket diagnostic imaging expenses.
The Center for Diagnostic Imaging, in North Miami Beach, has announced easy financing option through CareCredit, to help its patients seeking diagnostic screening such as MRI, MRA, Ultrasound or a PET scan in Miami.
CareCredit is merely like having a credit card for specifically meeting out-of–pocket health care costs. It is one of the most convenient ways to consolidate and manage additional medical expenses with a revolving line of credit that can be used repeatedly and for any family member. With two basic payment plans to meet patient’s financial needs, patients can either choose to take a no interest plan for six months or prefer an extended plan with fixed interest rates.
No Interest Plan for six months: is one of the most popular CareCredit plan with more than 50% of patients having selected this option. Accountholders with CareCredit’s No Interest Plan for six months can pay for his pet scan, breast ultrasound, MRA or MRI in Miami through Care Credit, without any Interest charged for it. However, the account holder has to ensure making a minimal monthly payment and payoff the balance amount within-in the specified promotional period. Accountholders who fail to make full payment with-in a six month period will be entitled to pay the interest rate of 24.99% from the purchase date.
Extended payment plan with fixed interest rates: Account holders who choose to pay for their breast ultrasound, pet scan, MRA, MRI or bone scans in Miami through CareCredit, can also opt for an extended payment plan for 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. These plans carry an interest rate (14.90%) that is more competitive than most bankcards and feature a fixed, monthly payment and a longer term.