Coastal Medical Imaging Center
Coastal Medical Imaging offers a full spectrum of imaging services.
Staffed by board certified radiologists, registered technologists, and dedicated office personnel, we offer physicians and patients prompt and professional service using state-of-art technology.
Our team of well-trained radiologists has multiple accreditations in all areas of diagnostic imaging providing patients with immediate access to an expert in the field. Imaging service radiologists perform and “read” the full spectrum of imaging examinations. (Nos falamos Português)
Note: We make every effort to use low dose protocols to reduce exposure to radiation for our patients.
X-Rays are especially useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system, but are also useful for detecting some disease processes in soft tissue. Some notable examples are the very common chest X-Ray, which can be used to identify lung diseases such as pneumonia, lung cancer or pulmonary edema, and the abdominal X-Ray, which can detect ileus (blockage of the intestine), free air (from visceral perforations) and free fluid (in ascites).
- A CT scan is a noninvasive, painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
- CT scanning uses special x-ray equipment to produce multiple pictures of the inside of the body and a computer to join them together in cross-sectional views of the area being studied. The images can then be examined by a radiologist for interpretation.
- CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels provide greater clarity than conventional x-ray exams.
CT or "CAT" scans are special x-ray tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body using x-rays and a computer. These images allow the radiologist to look at the inside of the body just as one would look at the inside of a loaf of bread by slicing it.
CT scans are frequently used to evaluate the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis and sinuses. Head or brain CT evaluates the various structures of the brain, and to look for a mass, stroke, bleed or blood vessel abnormality. It is also sometimes used to evaluate the skull. Neck CT evaluates the soft tissues of the neck and is frequently used to study a lump or mass in the neck or to look for enlarged lymph nodes or glands.
CT of the chest is frequently used to further evaluate an abnormality on a plain chest X-ray. It is also often used to look for enlarged lymph nodes. Abdominal and pelvic CT evaluates the abdominal and pelvic organs and the gastrointestinal tract. These studies are often ordered to evaluate for a cause of pain and sometimes to follow-up on an abnormality seen on another test such as an ultrasound.
Sinus CT exam is used to both diagnose sinus disease and to look for a narrowing or obstruction in the sinus drainage pathway. Spine CT test is most commonly used to look for a herniated disc or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) in patients with neck, arm back and/or leg pain. The CT scanner looks like a large donut with a narrow table. The patient lies on the table which moves through the center of the machine. The technologist is in the next room and can observe the patient through a large window.
Some scans (abdomen and pelvis) require the patient to drink a dilute barium liquid prior to the scan. Also, for certain exams contrast or dye must be injected into a vein during the scan. The entire procedure takes 15 to 45 minutes depending on what part of the body is being scanned. After the scan is finished, a board certified radiologist will interpret the study and send a report to the referring physician.
Ultrasound is a diagnostic medical imaging technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, their size, structure, and any extreme lesions with real time tomographic images. It is also used to visualize a fetus during routine and emergency prenatal care.
Ultrasound scans are performed by medical health care professionals called sonographers. Ultrasound has been used to image the human body for at least 50 years. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. The technology is relatively inexpensive and portable, especially when compared with modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer tomography (CT). As currently applied in the medical environment, ultrasound poses no known risks to the patient. Ultrasound is generally described as a "safe test" because it does not use ionizing radiation.
DEXA scanning is a simple, painless test, performed while lying down on the table of the unit. Determinations are made in the lumbar spine, hip and occasionally the forearm. The length of the exam is 10-15 minutes.
Indications to refer patients for bone densitometry testing include:
- Diagnose osteoporosis-even in its earliest stages
- Estimate risk of future fractures
- Monitor efficacy of drug therapy on bone density
No calcium supplements, day of exam. Wear clothing without metallic fasteners or decorations, if you do not wish to change into a hospital gown.
Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA, previously DEXA) is a means of measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Two x-ray beams with differing energy levels are aimed at the patient's bones. When soft tissue absorption is subtracted out, the BMD can be determined from the absorption of each beam by bone. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the most widely used and most thoroughly studied bone density measurement technology.
ABI testing is available at Coastal Medical Imaging. The ABI (ankle-brachial index) test, is a simple and painless test that is highly effective in screening patients for PAD (peripheral arterial disease) and other vascular diseases.
An ABI test is performed by measuring blood pressures in both of your arms and legs by using a doppler ultrasound device and pressure cuffs. The registered vascular technologist will compare all four blood pressure measurements and calculate your ABI. Your results will then be reviewed by a board certified interventional radiologist to determine if PAD exists, to what extent, and what treatment options should be used.
If your ABI indicates you may have PAD, Coastal Medical Imaging Center is staffed with board certified interventional radiologists who can provide you with a vascular consult to determine next steps.