Computed tomography imaging, better known as CT scan or CAT scan, is a diagnostic procedure that uses cross-sectional images of the body. It shows the shape and exact location of organs, soft tissues and bones in three dimensions to help physicians distinguish abnormalities and diagnose disease. CT can be used to image all parts of the body, including the brain. At the Portsmouth Imaging Center, we have a 16-slice ("slice" refers to a cross-section), high-speed, high-resolution CT scanner that ensures both accuracy and patient comfort. Most exams take less than 10 minutes. CT imaging is safe, painless, and requires minimal preparation.
A digital mammogram (above right) than a traditional mammogram (above left), providing a clearer, more defined image for the radiologist.
A mammogram is an image of the breast, and its primary purpose is to identify breast cancer at the earliest possible stage, when it is most curable. Digital mammography is a new imaging method that takes electronic images of the breast and stores them on a computer rather than on film.
The process is much faster because the technologist can see the breast image as it is taken and knows immediately that it is clear and captures what the radiologist must study. Patients no longer have to wait while the technologist looks at film to make that determination.
A radiologist views the image on a high-resolution monitor, seeing the breast tissue and any abnormalities more clearly than on film. Radiologists can also magnify and manipulate the image to more closely examine any area of interest. A computer-aided detection system also scans the digital images and searches for abnormal areas, such as calcifications, highlighting them as a "first look" for the radiologists. In a 2005 study, digital mammography showed 28 percent more cancers in women under age 50 than standard film mammography did. The Portsmouth Imaging Center uses digital mammography for both screening and diagnostic mammograms.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, uses a strong magnetic field and radiowaves to image the body. Physicians order MRIs to examine the brain, spine, skeleton, joints, abdomen and blood vessels. The Portsmouth Imaging Center's MRI scanner is one of the most technologically advanced and has superior power, speed, and resolution. It is also open ended, so the experience is comfortable and not confining.
An MRI scan is noninvasive, painless, and requires no special preparation. The exam is composed of a series of images and typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes on this state-of-the-art scanner.
Ultrasound imaging, also called sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Because these images are captured in real time, they show the structure and movement of internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
The ultrasound equipment at the Portsmouth Imaging Center uses the most current technology. This equipment and our specially trained ultrasonographers enable us to offer a broad variety of exams, including abdominal, obstetrical, breast, thyroid, scrotal, and vascular studies such as carotid, arterial, and venous ultrasounds.
Most ultrasound exams are painless, fast, and easy for patients.
X-rays are used primarily to see features of bone and locate dense objects, but when used with contrast material (swallowed or injected) can also show arteries and organs. X-rays are noninvasive and painless, and most exams do not require any preparation. The Portsmouth Imaging Center uses the most advanced x-ray equipment available and, like all our diagnostic images, x-rays are interpreted by boardcertified Newport Hospital radiologists.