Walker Street Imaging Care, Inc. is a fully accredited, comprehensive outpatient diagnostic imaging center, providing MRI, MRA, Closed MRI, CT, CTA, X-ray, Fluoroscopy, Ultrasound services.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a combination of a strong electro-magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of the body and internal organs. No x-rays are used. Magnetic Resonance Imaging can evaluate virtually all areas of the body, and is often used to visualize the brain, spine, bones, joints, abdomen, and pelvis.
Because of the strong magnetic field produced by the scanner, patients must remove all metallic and electronic devices such as jewelry, hairpins, glasses, hearing aids, etc. Certain devices such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, pumps, or metal implants are affected by the magnetic field, and some people with these devices cannot undergo this examination. Sometimes metal from spine and orthopedic surgery causes artifacts that interfere with the images. The vast majority of patients will have no problems with the exam.
During the procedure, which lasts from 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the number and complexity of scans to be performed), the patient lies motionless on a table that slides into the scanner. During the scan, a clicking and humming noise is created as the magnetic fields change and radio waves are sent from the scanner. You will need to hold still through the whole exam in order to obtain the best images. Our technologists will be in constant communication with you during your scan.
Contrast material may be administered by vein in order to see internal structures more clearly. This contrast material is extremely safe, although caution is recommended in patients with advanced renal failure.
Computed Tomography (CT Scan) Computed Tomography (CT or “CAT” scan) uses a combination of x-rays and computerized reconstruction to produce images of the body in much greater detail than standard x-rays. All areas of the body can be evaluated with CT.
Typically, a CT scan is performed quickly, with most of the time used for preparation. Actual scan time only lasts a few seconds. The patient lies flat on a table which moves through the large, donut-shaped opening of the scanner as the study is performed. Our technologists are always in constant communication during the exam.
Intravenous contrast material is sometimes given to better define internal structures. Although safe, this material contains iodine, and patients with iodine allergies and previous reactions to CT contrast material should consider MRI instead if contrast is needed. Similarly, patients with renal insufficiency or failure should also avoid CT contrast material and should consider MRI. The staff radiologists carefully screen potential at risk patients for contrast studies, and if required, can suggest alternate, but effective, imaging studies to the referring physician.
Ultrasound imaging uses high frequency sound waves to make pictures of internal organs. Reflected sound wave echoes are recorded, reconstructed by a computer, and displayed as images on a computer screen. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show movement of internal tissues and organs, fetal development, and blood flow. There is no harmful radiation.
Diagnostic (Abdomen, Pelvis, Thyroid, Retroperitoneal)
Ultrasound is a useful way of examining many of the body's internal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, and ovaries. Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it can also be used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies, in which needles are used to sample cells from organs for laboratory testing.
Some indications for obstetrical ultrasound may be:
- Establish presence of a living embryo/fetus
- Estimate the age of the pregnancy
- Evaluate the position of the fetus
- Evaluate the position of the placenta
- Determine if there are multiple pregnancies
- Diagnose congenital anomalies
Ultrasound imaging of the body's veins and arteries can help the radiologist see and evaluate blockages to blood flow, such as clots in veins and plaque in arteries. Ultrasound of the vascular system also provides a fast, noninvasive means of identifying blockages of blood flow in the neck arteries to the brain that might produce a stroke or mini-stroke.
Radiography involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce an image of the internal organs and body structures. X-rays are absorbed in varying amounts by different tissues, which show up as shadows of different density on the radiographic image.
A chest x-ray is usually done for the evaluation of lungs, heart and chest wall. Pneumonia, heart failure, cancer and other medical conditions can be diagnosed by chest x-ray. X-ray images of the bones spine, joints are performed to diagnose broken bones, or assess fracture healing. Arthritis and degenerative changes of can also be diagnosed.
Fluoroscopy is the examination of the tissues and deep structures of the body using the fluoroscope, which projects x-ray images onto a TV screen for viewing by the radiologist. Fluoroscopy is performed under the direct supervision of a radiologist.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a method of producing extremely detailed pictures of body tissues and organs without the need for x-rays. The electromagnetic energy that is released when exposing a patient to radiofrequency waves in a strong magnetic field is measured and analyzed by a computer to produce images of the specific organs and/or structions of the body. MR angiography (MRA) is a detailed MRI study of the blood vessels. The procedure is painless, and the magnetic field is not known to cause tissue damage of any kind. These images are reconstructed in a 3D format and provide incredible clarity and diagnostic quality.
The carotid arteries in the neck that take blood to the brain are a common site of narrowing or plaque that can be shown by MRA. Patients with headache or family history of aneurysm, a ballooning of the vessel wall, can be screened with MRA.
MRA is also used to detect disease in the aorta and in blood vessels supplying the kidneys, lungs and legs.