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Imaging Modalities

Imaging Modalities Provided at Ohio Valley

MRI

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan does not expose patients to radiation and has no known harmful effects. The MRI machine uses a large magnet and a computer to take pictures of the inside of your body.  Each picture or “slice” shows a few layers of body tissue at a time.  Those pictures are then examined by a radiologist on a computer monitor.  Each MRI test can take between 25 to 60 minutes.

The MRI machine is a large, cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet.  You may be asked to change into a hospital gown for your MRI procedure. Your technologist will help you lie on an examination table that will slide into the center of the magnet.  You will be asked to hold very still; the body part being tested may be kept in place with a cradle or straps.  If you move, the MRI pictures may be unclear. Your technologist will sit behind a window during your examination and will be able to see, hear and speak to you at all times.  

You will hear very loud banging sounds during the series of scans; this noise is caused by the magnets moving and is totally normal.  Before your procedure, your technologist will offer you earphones (to listen to music) or earplugs. We encourage you to bring your own IPod or CD, or you can choose from our music collection.

Sometimes, MRI examinations require intravenous contrast material.  This assists the radiologist in getting a better view of the affected body part. The contrast material is put through an intravenous (IV) line in a vein in your hand or arm. For your safety, contrast screening may require blood work prior to your scan. This is performed right here at the Imaging Center.  Please note:  before your MRI procedure, your technologist may ask you a series of questions to ensure your safety.

Because the MRI machine uses a strong magnet, certain types of metal within your body could be pulled toward the magnet. You will be asked to remove all jewelry, piercings and other metal objects.  Any clothing with metal hooks, buttons, zippers, etc. must also be removed.  Your safety is our primary focus.

Please note:  for your safety, if you are pregnant or could be pregnant, you will need to inform your technologist prior to your imaging procedure.

CT

A CT scan, also known as computerized tomography, combines a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues in your body.  The resulting images can be compared to looking down at single slices of bread from a loaf.  CT scans assist the radiologist to quickly examine patients for muscle and bone disorders, such as fractures or tumors, pinpoint the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot, detect and monitor diseases such as cancer or heart disease, and detect    internal injuries or bleeding.Patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for their CT exam. You may need to remove clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined and you may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.

Sometimes, CT examinations require the use of contrast material.  This assists the radiologist in getting a better view of the affected body part. You may be asked to drink contrast material before your procedure and/or receive contrast through an intravenous (IV) line. For your safety, contrast screening may require blood work prior to your scan; this is performed right here at the Imaging Center. 

Please note: if you are pregnant or could be pregnant, you will need to inform your technologist prior to your CT exam.

Ultrasound

Also referred to as medical sonograms, ultrasounds are noninvasive tests that use sound waves to create images of organs and systems within the body. Physicians can visualize blood vessels and internal organs using ultrasound. Ultrasound images are captured in “real-time,” they can show movement of the body's internal organs as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound tests are common in pregnancy and are done to evaluate the development of the fetus.  

To perform your ultrasound examination, the technologist will spread a clear, warm gel on your skin. This gel helps with the transmission of sound waves. The technician will then move a small wand (transducer) over the gel. The transducer emits high-frequency sound waves and a computer measures how the sound waves bounce back from the body. The computer changes those sound waves into images to be analyzed by your physician.  

The Ohio Valley Imaging Center performs fine needle aspiration/biopsy procedures of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck just above the neckline. Ultrasound guidance is used during this test to scan the thyroid and locate a nodule(s).  A radiologist uses a small needle to remove cells from the nodule(s), which are then examined by a pathologist.  This is considered a minimally invasive procedure and there is no special preparation.  Please notify your physician and/or Ohio Valley Imaging Center scheduling personnel, however, if you are currently taking blood thinners.  You may be asked to discontinue them before this test.

Patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for their ultrasound exam. You may need to remove clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined and you may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure. Your technologist may ask you to drink water prior to your procedure.

X-Ray

An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body.  Diagnostic X-rays are useful in detecting irregularities such as broken bones, arthritis, infections, tumors and the presence of foreign bodies. Your X-ray technologist may ask you to remove clothing and jewelry and to wear a hospital gown for your procedure.  Patients either lie on an adjustable table or stand for their X-ray examination; you will be instructed to stay very still because motion can cause blurry images.

Please note:  for your safety, if you are pregnant or could be pregnant, you will need to inform your technologist prior to your X-ray procedure.