Computed tomography (CT)
Computed tomography (CT) uses x-rays to produce multiple images of the inside of the body, and provides thin, cross-sectional "slices" for viewing. CT scans of internal organs, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels provide much more detail than conventional x-rays. Radiologists use this specialized equipment and expertise to diagnose problems such as cancer, abnormalities of blood vessels, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders.
CT imaging is:
Veterinary radiologists often use the CT examination to:
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, and other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor or printed. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays), but detects the motion of protons that are normall present in the body.
Detailed MR images allow veterinary radiologists to better evaluate parts of the body and certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods such as x-ray, ultrasound or computed tomography (also called CT or CAT scanning).
Currently, MRI is the most sensitive imaging test of the head (particularly in the brain) in clinical practice.
MR imaging is performed to help diagnose:
Nuclear scintigraphy uses very small, tracer amounts of radioactive molecules to diagnose diseases involving bone, soft tissues and vessels. We can attach these molecules to agents that bind to bone lesions, soft tissue tumors and sites of infection. This very sensitive technique can often diagnose diseases not visible with other imaging methods.
The radiotracer eventually collects in the area of the body being examined, where it gives off energy in the form of gamma rays. This energy is detected by a device called a gamma camera. These devices work together with a computer to measure the amount of radiotracer absorbed by your body and to produce special pictures offering details on both the structure and function of organs and other internal body parts.
Nuclear scintigraphy is used to diagnose
• portosystemic shunts
• kidney function
• distribution of cancer in the body
• thyroid disease
Radiographs, or x-ray studies, use a very short burst of x-rays to create an image of the body. Small animal radiology is equipped with digital radiography systems that capture the radiograph without the use of film. Radiographs are used to diagnose disease in the chest, abdomen and musculoskeletal system. We also perform many special studies such as contrast studies of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract to diagnose obstructions. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of veterinary medical imaging.
An x-ray is typically the first imaging test used to help diagnose problems such as:
Veterinarians use the examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:
Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (x-ray). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging can be performed using minimal restraint or sedation.
We often use ultrasound to guide a small needle to diseased areas of tissue for biopsy. Abdominal ultrasound imaging is performed to evaluate the:
Ultrasound is used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, such as:
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Fluoroscopy is a continuous series of very low dose x-ray images that let veterinarians see images of the inside of the body in motion. For example, fluoroscopy of the chest allows us to watch the heart beat and the lungs expand. Fluoroscopy is used to diagnose diseases that involve motion, such as collapse of the trachea during breathing, or disorders of swallowing.
Fluoroscopy is used to diagnose problems such as