There are many sophisticated tools, such as computerized axial tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and X-rays, that provide a relatively noninvasive way to take a look inside the body. Asante’s digital imaging systems provide electronic images in amazing clarity. Doctors can now enlarge images on a computer monitor, enabling them to see detailed pictures of the body like never before.
Computerized Axial Tomography
Computerized axial tomography (CT) is a diagnostic procedure that uses X-ray equipment in conjunction with a computer to create three-dimensional cross-sectional images of the body. The CT equipment displays detailed images of organs, bones, and other tissues in more detail than standard X-rays. Asante offers some of the most advanced CT technology available in the region, including a 64-slice CT system at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. Our CT program and equipment are accredited by the American College of Radiology, and the technologists have advanced training and certification.
At Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, every stroke patient has a CT scan of the brain and laboratory tests immediately upon arriving at the hospital so that doctors can determine the kind of stroke the patient is having.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a combination of magnets, radio waves, and computer technology to create images of the spine and the brain. Asante’s MRI program and machines are accredited by the American College of Radiology, and the technologists have advanced training and certification in MRI.
Most people are familiar with X-ray imaging. Images produced by X-rays are due to the different absorption rates of different tissues. For example, bones, soft tissues, and even air show up as different shades on an X-ray. X-rays are often used as the first step in diagnosing injuries of the extremities but may also be used to evaluate other problems involving bones and soft tissues.
Positron Emission Tomography
Positron emission tomography (PET) is used to generate computerized images of chemical changes in the body. PET scans of the brain are used to detect or highlight tumors and diseased tissue, measure cellular and tissue metabolism, show blood flow, and evaluate patients who have seizure disorders that do not respond to medical therapy. PET scans can also be used to determine brain changes following injury and to help diagnose patients with certain memory disorders. A PET scan may be ordered as a follow-up to a CT or MRI scan to give the physician a greater understanding of specific areas of the brain.
A cerebral angiogram can detect blockages or narrowing of the arteries or veins in the brain, head, and neck. It is used to diagnose stroke and to determine the location and the size of a brain tumor, aneurysm, or vascular malformation. During a cerebral angiogram, a contrast dye is injected through a catheter into the arteries of the brain. A series of X-rays allows doctors to see obstructions in the brain as the dye travels through the arteries.
Cerebrospinal Fluid Test
Also known as a spinal tap, a cerebrospinal fluid test requires the removal of a small amount of the fluid that protects the brain and the spinal cord. The fluid is then analyzed to detect bleeding or brain hemorrhage, diagnose possible infection of the brain or spinal cord, and in some cases diagnose multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. This test can also measure intracranial pressure.
A myelogram involves the injection of a water- or oil-based contrast dye into the spinal column in combination with X-rays or CT scans to diagnose spinal nerve injury, herniated discs, fractures, back or leg pain, and spinal tumors.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) monitors electrical brain activity through the skull. An EEG is used to help diagnose certain seizure disorders, brain tumors, head injuries, inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, and metabolic and degenerative disorders that affect the brain. EEGs are also used to evaluate sleep disorders and monitor brain activity when a patient has been fully anesthetized or loses consciousness.