Imaging Services



Our Imaging Services Department provides diagnostic imaging studies including routine x-ray studies (bone, chest, abdomen), PET/CT scanning, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, Digital Mammography, MRI and CT Scanning.

A registered radiologic technologist who is specially trained in this field performs your x-rays. The Department operates with the direction of Radiologists who are physicians specializing in the diagnosis of disease by means of x-ray and other imaging examinations. For certain procedures, a radiologist will be present. All examinations are interpreted and reported by the radiologist to your physician to help in your diagnosis and treatment.

One of our newest additions is our state of the art PACS (Picture Archive Communication System). This system gives us the capability of digitally capturing all of your studies and processing them for immediate verification and transmission to our Radiologist for viewing on a Diagnostic Workstation. Our PACS allows us to copy your studies to a CD for viewing by any referring physician or facility. The studies copied to CD will allow physicians to manipulate and change viewing preferences, making this a better diagnostic tool than printed films and saving you time when requesting copies of your studies.



Our PET/CT Scanner (Positron Emission Tomography) utilizes the latest state of the art technology to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. The highly sensitive PET scan picks up the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells in the body, and the CT scan provides a detailed picture of the internal anatomy that reveals the size and shape of abnormal cancerous growths. Alone, each test has its limitations but when the results of the scans are fused together they provide the most complete information on cancer location and metabolism. In the past, difficulties have arisen from trying to interpret the results of both tests together because patients often change their positions between tests. The new combined PET/CT scan allows us to perform the tests simultaneously which leaves less room for error in interpreting test results.

Our CT Department provides the community with state of the art CAT Scans. A computerized axial tomography scan is more commonly known by its abbreviated name, CAT scan or CT scan. It is an x-ray procedure which combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. Imagine the body as a loaf of bread and you are looking at one end of the loaf. As you remove each slice of bread, you can see the entire surface of that slice from the crust to the center. The body is seen on CAT scan slices in a similar fashion from the skin to the central part of the body being examined. When these levels are further "added" together, a three-dimensional picture of an organ or abnormal body structure can be obtained.

Raleigh General Hospital's CT department is also able to provide a relativtively new procedure call CTA or CT Angiography. CTA is an examination that uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the body, from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, and arms and legs. CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves placing a catheter and injecting contrast material into an artery, CTA is a much less invasive and more patient-friendly procedure-contrast material is injected into a peripheral vein rather than an artery. This exam has been used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease. Most patients have CT angiography without being admitted to a hospital.

Our Nuclear Medicine Department utilize three cameras to give doctors another way to look inside the human body. The techniques combine the use of computers, detectors, and radioactive substances.

All of these techniques use different properties of radioactive elements to create an image. Nuclear medicine imaging is useful for detecting:

  • Tumors
  • Irregular or inadequate blood flow to various tissues
  • Blood cell disorders and inadequate functioning of organs, such as thyroid and pulmonary function deficiencies.
The use of any specific test, or combination of tests, depends upon the patient's symptoms and the disease being diagnosed.

 



Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Conventional ultrasound displays the images in thin, flat sections of the body. Advancements in ultrasound technology include three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound that formats the sound wave data into 3-D images. Four-dimensional (4-D) ultrasound is 3-D ultrasound in motion.A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of an ultrasound examination.  Doppler ultrasound is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck.

All of these techniques use different properties of radioactive elements to create an image. Nuclear medicine imaging is useful for detecting:

 

  • Tumors
  • Irregular or inadequate blood flow to various tissues
  • Blood cell disorders and inadequate functioning of organs, such as thyroid and pulmonary function deficiencies.

    The use of any specific test, or combination of tests, depends upon the patient's symptoms and the disease being diagnosed.

    Mammography is the examination of the breast for diagnosis of disease or abnormality. RGH is accredited by the American College of Radiology and the FDA. The technologists are all certified and have received specialty training and nationally registered in Mammography. We also utilize the "Mammo-Pad" which has been described by patients to lessen the discomfort of a mammogram by 50%. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40.

    MRI (Magnetic Resonance imaging) uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field rather than x-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. The technique has proven very valuable for the diagnosis of a broad range of pathologic conditions in all parts of the body, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. MRI requires specialized equipment and expertise and allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods.

    Because MRI can give such clear pictures of soft-tissue structures near and around bones, it is the most sensitive exam for spinal and joint problems. MRI is widely used to diagnose sports-related injuries, especially those affecting the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, and wrist. The images allow the physician to see even very small tears and injuries to ligaments and muscles.

    Organs of the chest and abdomen-including the lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, and abdominal vessels-can also be examined in high detail with MRI, enabling the diagnosis and evaluation of tumors and functional disorders. MRI is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional x-ray mammography in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. Because no radiation exposure is involved, MRI is often the preferred diagnostic tool for examination of the male and female reproductive systems, pelvis and hips, and the bladder.

    Your physician can contact our scheduling department at 304-254-3000.