Thursday, February 19, 2009

Diagnostic Imaging: Not Just X-Rays Anymore

Healthy Rounds will be discussing the transition from the term radiology to diagnostic imaging with Dr. Phillip Kohanski Assistant Director of Diagnostic Imaging at the William W. Backus Hospital. The change in terminology is a result of so little radiation involved in new medical imaging techniques. The new generation of imaging has in many cases obviated the need for exploratory surgery.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a procedure that has become very common but patients should be cautious. Ask questions:
  • What is the field strength of the magnet? Closed MRIs should have a field strenght of one Tesla or more.
  • Is an "open" or "closed" MRI preferred? Closed MRIs have better resolution and should always be the preferred study. Patients with claustrophobia might prefer an open study but be sure the open unit has a high field strength
  • Who will be reading the MRI study? The radiologist should special training in MRI.

Diagnostic Imaging is an exciting field of medicine where physicians, technologists and patients are all learning about its' impact together.

Have you had a recent procedure?

What was your experience?

Any tips on how to avoid the claustrophobic feeling of an MRI?

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