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Body Imaging

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General Information About Body Imaging

Body imaging radiologists use non-invasive diagnostic imaging to look for abnormalities inside the body and perform limited invasive procedures by guiding instruments inside the body to sample tissue.

In the chest, this includes the lungs, heart and vessels. In the abdomen, this includes the liver, spleen, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, vessels and intestines. In the pelvis, this includes the bladder and female organs. Body imaging radiologists use diagnostic imaging to non-invasively look for abnormalities inside the body. These imaging techniques also help body imaging radiologists perform limited invasive procedures by guiding instruments inside the body to sample tissue. This has all but eliminated the need for exploratory surgeries often performed in the past.

Computed Tomography (CT) is a primary body imaging tool. CT can rapidly produce cross sectional images through the body allowing the radiologist to view in detail the internal organs and any diseases affecting them. The entire chest, abdomen and pelvis can be imaged with state-of-the art CT scanners in 15 seconds. This has made CT the primary imaging tool in cases of acute abdominal distress.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used in body imaging to characterize abnormal findings in greater detail. MRI produces multiple cross sectional images through the body without the need for iodine contrast and without using ionizing radiation. This makes MRI safer in terms of radiation dose and for people with iodine allergies and kidney disease. MRI produces images with extreme soft tissue detail, allowing the body imaging radiologist to be very specific about tumor location and disease extent. MRI is helpful to show tumors of the liver and other organs and in imaging the blood vessels.

Ultrasound is an imaging tool that is frequently used in conjunction with MRI and CT to look into the body. Important features of Ultrasound include real time live images, the ability to characterize blood flow through vessels and to determine cysts from solid tumors. It uses sound waves to produce images. Ultrasound is the primary screening tool used to look for diseases of the gallbladder and ovaries.