Radiology Technology

The Technology- Radiology

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry- DEXA

GBMC’s Radiology Department offers bone density testing on the GE Lunar Prodigy Scanner. DEXA scans are performed by Licensed Radiological Technologists that have received training in Bone Density Exams. The interpreting physicians are certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD). Patient education in osteoporosis prevention, nutrition, and exercise are included with each visit. GBMC also participates in clinical trials. A National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) support group meets six times a year to heighten awareness and enhance knowledge about osteoporosis in the community. Click here for more information about osteoporosis support groups.

Picture Archiving and Communication in Medicine - PACS

PACS is a computer system used to capture, store, distribute, and display images.  The PACS at GBMC performs these functions for all images acquired on campus, and makes them available to the physicians from any computer.  With this technology physicians can quickly access patient images and reports. With this information readily available they are able to make rapid decisions on the treatment of our patients. 

Computed Radiography

During a radiographic examination, x-rays pass through a patient's body and can be recorded on film, video, or a computer, producing anatomical images.  Diagnosing pneumonia, assessing broken bones, or determining the cause of intestinal bleeding are just a few of the many uses of radiographs.  The diagnostic radiology department performs well over 100 different kinds of procedures.

The technology employed to acquire radiographic images is known as Computed Radiography (CR).  The use of CR involves positioning an imaging plate in relation to the anatomy of interest, and then using proper radiation techniques to create the exposure.  Once the plate is exposed, it is then read by a laser scanner, which creates the digital image.  That image is then sent to the digital archive known as the PACS, for immediate review by clinicians.

The use of CR technology at GBMC has replaced the use of silver based film and chemicals.  Because CR does not use these film-based components, we do not have the associated environmental issues.

In addition, images are available for the radiologist to interpret within seconds of study completion, improving the time it takes to communicate the findings to the treating physician, and hence the time it takes to use that information to treat the patients.

Fluroscopy

The use of real-time image review in medicine is known as fluoroscopy and health professionals who perform these examinations are known as radiographers, and have the credential R.T.(R).  The staff at GBMC is well-qualified in the use of fluoroscopy and it's many applications:

The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center at GBMC provides comprehensive services to patients with cognitive and swallowing disorders.  The Department of Radiology supports their patient evaluation with a specialized fluoroscopy procedure known as a Modified Barium Swallow study, which evaluates overall swallowing function for patients.

The Department of Radiology also supports the Comprehensive Obesity Management Program by performing fluoroscopic procedures to evaluate the gastric anatomy, prior to bypass surgery.  Once surgery is complete, patients return for a follow-up esophageal and gastric review.

Approximately 40,000 surgeries are performed at GBMC, with many of them requiring real-time imaging during the procedures.  The diagnostic radiology department recently added a seventh c-arm to the operating room, which optimally visualizes the anatomy of interest, and reduces procedure time through it's sophisticated, yet simple user interface.

Interventional Radiology

These procedures use radiologic imaging to guide catheters, balloons, stents, and other tools through the body to diagnose and treat disease without open surgery.  For example, blocked arteries are often treated using interventional radiology.  Technologists who assist interventional radiologists in these procedures have the credential R.T.( CV).

The interventionalists at GBMC perform 3D rotational angiography, creating a three-dimensional road map of the blood flow to a tumor.  With this map, the physician is able to embolize or occlude the blood flow to a tumor, which helps to shrink it in size.  Once this is accomplished, the patient receives a reduction in their symptoms such as discomfort.

Another application of the rotational c-arm in interventional radiology at GBMC is in kyphoplasty procedures.  This rotation of the c-arm gives a visualization of the spine at all angles, enabling the physician to advance instrumentation to precise locations.  This procedure reduces symptomatic back pain for our patients.

Computed Tomography - CT

CT technologists use a rotating x-ray unit and computers to create cross-sectional images of patient anatomy.  Technologists who have passed the CT certification exam are identified by the credential R.T.(CT).

The scanners at GBMC produce 16 slices per rotation and 64 slices per rotation, which means greater detail than their predecessors, with less motion, in a shorter amount of time.  Today CT is used in the diagnosis of diseases of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.  In addition it can sometimes be used to help diagnose diseases without resorting to invasive studies.  An example of this might be the CT Angiography (CTA) of the heart vessels or other blood vessels, or a virtual colonoscopy.

In some cases the information collected can be enhanced through the production of 3-D images.  These specialized images can be used to assist doctors with surgery and to aide in diagnosis.

The CT department on average does approximately 34,000 procedures a year and operates 24-hours per day.

Nuclear Medicine - NM

Nuclear medicine technologists use trace amounts of radioactive materials to gather information about how organs function.  To provide this information about the anatomy and function of organs, compounds linked (tagged) to radionuclides may be tailored for concentration by a particular organ. This radionuclide is injected into the patient for a specific scan requested by the patient's physician.  Special equipment detects the gamma rays emitted by the radionuclide, and creates images of the body part being studied.  The most common nuclear medicine studies include myocardial perfusion, bone, lung, tumor, renal, hepatobiliary and gastric.

Health professionals who perform these exams are known as nuclear medicine technologists and have the credential CNMT.

Ultrasound - US

Sonographers use high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce dynamic images of organs, tissues, or blood flow inside the body.  It is used to examine many parts of the body, such as the abdomen, breast, reproductive system, heart, and blood vessels.  Depending on their specialty, sonographers will have the following credential(s): RDMS, RDCS, or RVT.

Ultrasound does not use radiation.  It is painless, easy, and has no lasting effects.  We currently have three divisions of ultrasound at GBMC: general, vascular, and echocardiography.  We also utilize ultrasound in the operating room and in the interventional radiology suite.

One of the specialized exams that the GBMC Vascular Lab offers is the venous doppler exam to evaluate for venous insufficiency.  Our sonographers are well trained and experienced, and able to perform a comprehensive evaluation.  Due to the length of the exam and the required experience, it can be difficult to locate a facility that performs this procedure.  GBMC is happy to offer this service to our community.  
 
In the echocardiography section, Trans Esophageal Echocardiography (TEE) gives superior visualization of the heart valves, and assists in evaluation for thrombus within the heart.  It is used for patients who have had a cardio-vascular attack, to locate the source emboli, and then aids in treating accordingly.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a powerful magnetic field along with radio waves to create images of the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, and extremities.  Some of the more common uses of MRI include imaging of the knee and shoulder for evaluation of the tendons and ligaments, and imaging of the spine for evaluation of herniated disk or trauma.  In the brain MRI is used to evaluate such conditions as tumor, stroke, dementia, pituitary disorders, and multiple sclerosis.

Conventional and open MRI services are provided on the GBMC campus by Medical Imaging of Baltimore.  To schedule an appointment for these procedures, you may contact them directly at 410.296.5610.  You may also visit their web site at: www.mibmri.com

Positron Emission Tomography - PET/CT

PET imaging shows how organs are functioning based on their chemical activity.  It is very useful for detection of cancer, differentiating malignant from benign growths and thus enabling the best course of treatment for each individual patient.  PET also evaluates brain disease including degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and early detection of stroke, again enabling a rapid course of treatment aimed at maximum recovery for the patient.  PET also evaluates coronary artery disease and the myocardial tissue in patients who have suffered from heart attack.

PET/CT services are provided on the GBMC campus by Medical Imaging of Baltimore.  To schedule an appointment for these procedures, you may contact them directly at 410.296.5610.  You may also visit their web site at: www.mibmri.com




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