The chest x-ray is the best initial evaluation of the lungs. The chest x-ray is the most common general diagnostic exam ordered. It is especially helpful for patients who complain of shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, or possible infection. The exam can help diagnose: pneumonia, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer.
Normal Chest XRay
If your physician suspects more advanced involvement of the respiratory system, advanced imaging modality, such as CT or MRI, can be further utilized. CT scan of the chest is particularly helpful in evaluating for infectious etiology, lung cancer, pulmonary embolus, chronic lung disease or pleural pathology.
Normal Chest CT Scan
Abdominal radiology includes gastrointestinal and genitourinary radiology utilizing multiple modalities ranging from plain xray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, computed tomography and MRI examinations.
The field of gastrointestinal radiology is designed to study the gastrointestinal tract (pharynx, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, small bowel, and colon), solid abdominal visceral organs (liver, gallbladder, biliary tract, pancreas and spleen), peritoneal cavity (mesentery and omentum) and abdominal wall.
The field of genitourinary radiology is designed to study the renal system (kidney, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra) and reproductive organs in male and female.
Abdominal plain xray:
Used to evaluate gross abnormalities such as free air within the abdomen, bowel obstruction or stone formation.
Normal abdominal xray
Fluoroscopy Studies includes but not limited to the following exams:
Barium studies used to evaluate the GI tract from mouth to rectum utilizing oral contrast.
- Barium Swallow: evaluates the pharynx and esophagus including the swallowing mechanism. It includes conventional barium esophagram (barium swallow) and modified barium swallow (oral and pharyngeal function study).
- Upper Gastrointestinal Series: An upper GI tract exam is a study to enable the radiologist to examine the anatomy and function of the pharynx, esophagus, stomach and the duodenum. The procedure is performed using xray in motion (fluoroscopy) after the intake of oral barium contrast. Your physician may order an upper GI exam to check for: Ulcers, tumors, inflammation, hiatal hernias, gastroesophgeal reflux disease (GERD), cause of obstruction which can lead to unexplained vomiting or bleeding etiology.
Double contrast upper GI
- Small Bowel Follow-Through: used to evaluate the small intestines after drinking oral contrast. The radiologist looks for cause of obstruction, inflammation, strictures, or masses.
Small bowel follow-through
- Barium Enema: used to examine the large intestine or colon. The test looks at the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and the rectum. The radiologist may able to diagnose ulcers, benign tumors, polyps, cancer or other colonic disorders. The procedure is helpful in assessing for: Chronic diarrhea, blood in stools, constipation, unexplained weight loss and inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Double contrast barium enema
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP):
An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an xray examination of the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra that uses intravenous contrast material. When a contrast material is injected, it reaches the kidney via the blood stream. A series of X-ray pictures is then taken at timed intervals. An IVP can show the size, shape, and position and function of the urinary tract, and it can evaluate the collecting system inside the kidneys. It is commonly performed to identify diseases of the urinary tract, such as kidney stones, tumors, infection or structural abnormalities. The exam can help diagnose symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain in the side or lower back.
A hysterosalpingogram or HSG is an x-ray exam performed to determine whether the fallopian tubes are open and to evaluate the shape of the uterine cavity. It often is done for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant (infertile). During a hysterosalpingogram, a contrast material is injected through a tiny tube that is placed through the vagina and into the uterine cavity. Multiple images are taken using fluoroscopy as the contrast passes through the uterus and fallopian tubes. It is usually done after menses have ended, but before ovulation, to prevent interference with an early pregnancy.
A hysterosalpingogram is usually done to assess for blocked fallopian tubes. Prior infection can cause severe scarring of the fallopian tubes leading to blocked tubes which in turns prevent pregnancy to occur. Occasionally the dye used during a hysterosalpingogram will push through and clear a blocked tube. It also evaluates the uterus for structural abnormalities such as polyps, fibroids, adhesions, or a foreign object. It is also used to assess whether surgery to reverse a tubal ligation has been successful or to evaluate the appropriate blockage of the tubes by tiny metal coils used for birth control purpose.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive exam that uses sound waves to produce images of the body. Ultrasound allows the radiologist to make an accurate diagnosis of multiple conditions affecting the body and is especially helpful in visualizing the internal organs such as liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen, urinary bladder and reproductive organs. The images produced show their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real-time cross-sectional images. Ultrasound is also used to show a fetus during routine and emergency pregnancy stages. Ultrasound has an important role in vascular assessment such as venous or arterial systems.
Ultrasound of the liver
Computed Tomography (CT):
CT scans are a noninvasive, painless radiological examination that is useful in diagnosing diseases and medical conditions in internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels. CT scans generate much more clarity than a typical x-ray since it produces multiple images from inside the body creating a cross-sectional view of the area imaged. An iodinated contrast material is often used to make structures and organs easier to see. The contrast can be used to check blood flow, find tumors, and look for other problems. Dye is injected in the vein and you may drink the oral contrast for some tests. CT images may be taken before and after the dye is used.
It is especially helpful in diagnosing cancer, heart disease, infectious process, trauma or bone related problems. It is often the preferred exam for studying the chest and abdomen because of the detailed pictures created by the multi-sliced views. Radiologists can confirm cancers, such as lung, liver and pancreatic, and can accurately determine the size, location and extent of involvement.
CT of the abdomen with oral and intravenous contrast
One of our specialty exams includes virtual CT Colonoscopy used to help screen patients for colon cancer.
Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women; however if detected early, colon cancer can be prevented. Screening can be performed between ages 40-50. Recently we have introduced CT Colonography which uses multidetector CT images with use of virtual computer software which allows us to look inside the colon. Some of the advantages of CT colonoscopy includes:
- Faster and less invasive than conventional colonoscopy
- Whole study takes only 10-15 minutes
- No sedation
- Very high success for detection of polyps and cancer greater than 10 mm
- Requires low dose radiation
Preparation for a CT colonoscopy Exam:
You will be instructed to follow a two day low residual diet in conjunction with a 24 hour bowel prep kit available from the pharmacy. More detailed instructions will be provided to you by the scheduler when you make your appointment.
CTC is not covered for screening test. If you are having this test because of symptoms related to your colon, your insurance may cover the exam. For people without symptoms, you should expect to pay $500.00 for the exam at the time of service.
CT Colonoscopy image looking inside a normal colon
Colon with polyps
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
MRI uses radiofrequency waves and a large powerful magnet to produce clear, detailed images of internal organs and tissues. Radio waves are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen atoms to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to reconstruct an image of the body. The technology is helpful in diagnosing a wide range of conditions throughout the body including the abdomen and pelvis. Since MRI can show great soft tissue details, it is an invaluable tool in cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment. MRI provides a detailed image of the organs inside the abdomen and pelvis such as liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, reproductive organs and abdominal vessels.
Abdominal MRI with numerous gallstones
One of our specialty exams includes MRI defecography used to assess the rectum and pelvic floor structures. We are the only center to offer such an exam in the Tampa Bay area.
MRI defecography is a painless MRI examination that provides information on the function of the rectum, and the surrounding organs such as the bladder, vagina and small bowel. It analyzes the pelvic muscles, specifically their strength and control.
Functional disorders of the pelvic floor are considered a common clinical problem. Diagnosis and treatment of these disorders, which manifest as nonspecific symptoms such as constipation or incontinence, remain a difficult process. MRI defecography has been shown to aid in detection of functional and morphologic abnormalities of the anorectal region, including the opening of the anal canal, the function of the puborectal muscle, and the descent of the pelvic floor during increased intra-abdominal pressure. MR defecography is also helpful in assessing the anorectal morphology and function in relation to surrounding structures without exposing the patient to ionizing radiation.
Sagital image of the pelvis during MRI defecography