At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we keep abreast of new technology so that we can offer our family, friends and neighbors the latest in healthcare advances.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare Provides State-of-the-Art Imaging Services
4D MRI of the Breast | Bone Densitometry | CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring
Mammography | Digital Radiology | Interventional Radiology/Cath Lab
Lung Cancer Screenings | MRI | Nuclear Medicine | PET/CT Imaging | Ultrasound
One of the most advanced tools for use in detecting, classifying and staging breast cancer, 4D MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), is available at St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
MRI of the breast is able to detect lesions that may not be visible on mammograms due to the size or location of the tumor or other factors. It also better allows for the early detection of multiple lesions in the same or other breast.
Some of the more common clinical indications for the use of MRI of the breast include:
- problematic mammograms with equivocal or suspicious findings
- after diagnosis/before surgery assessments to more accurately classify or stage the cancer
- examination of a new lesion detected in a former breast cancer surgery patient to determine if the new lesion is a recurrence of cancer or a post-operative scar
- multiple suspected cancerous lesions in one breast or one or more suspected cancerous lesions in both breasts (bilateral)
- to evaluate the success of treatment, such as chemotherapy or brachytherapy (seeding), administered over a period of time in advance of surgery and to assess the current size and stage of the cancer
- to determine or verify surgical margins prior to or following a lumpectomy
St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s scanner, the General Electric 1.5T EXCITE HD (high definition) VIBRANT Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging System is equipped with numerous features that allow for exceptional quality images including both sagittal (side) and axial (horizontal) views. It also is capable of simultaneously imaging both breasts.
St. Elizabeth also offers Screening Breast MRI for women who meet recommended guidelines and who have an order from their physician. Because using MRI to screen for breast cancer is new and this type of screening is available at only a select number of facilities in the country, the cost of this scan is currently NOT covered by most insurance providers. To make this screening more affordable for the public, St. Elizabeth Healthcare offers the screening at a reduced rate.
St. Elizabeth works in conjunction with the Breast MRI Institute of Flint, Michigan. The raw data derived from a breast MRI scan at St. Elizabeth, consisting of approximately 900 images, is sent to the Breast MRI Institute. There the data is processed through specialized computer-aided detection systems to produce approximately 4,000 images. Radiologists at the Institute who specialize in Breast MRI use this extensive collection of images to formulate an interpretation. This interpretation is then provided to the ordering physician (your doctor) for follow-up.
Bone Densitometry is the only technology currently available that accurately measures bone mass to predict fracture risk. It is a quick, convenient and painless method to detect osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that develops silently over a number of years, causing bones to lose mass, becoming porous and fragile, while greatly increasing the chance of fractures.
CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring Scan is an exam, with NO IV’s needed, to see if there are calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. The amount of calcium in the arteries directly correlates with the total amount of plaque present. A large amount would indicate that there is at least some degree of atherosclerotic heart disease. This information can help your physician and you create a plan of care for the future.
This test is only for those at moderate risk for heart disease: those over 50 with risk factors such as high blood pressure or overweight, etc.
Currently, most insurances do NOT cover this screening test. At St. Elizabeth Healthcare the cost is a reasonable $99. It is payable at the time of the exam. A physician’s order is required. Your results will be sent to both you and your doctor.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare uses digital mammography for all screening and diagnostic mammograms. Additionally, we offer 3D Mammography; also called Tomosynthesis. This technology allows the Radiologist to distinguish abnormalities without the shadows caused by overlying tissue. 3D Mammography is helpful for women who have dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer.
3D Mammography can be requested when you schedule your annual Mammogram. Most insurance carriers cover this extra view.
Digital radiography is the advanced form of X-ray exams, where digital sensors are used rather than film. Advantages are both the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images, and that less radiation can be used to produce a diagnostic image of high quality.
Cardiovascular Lab (aka Cath Lab) performs various procedures from Coronary Catheterizations and Pacemaker insertions, to stenting of peripheral arteries to restore circulation, or placing a port for chemotherapy infusion. The term “Interventional Radiology” refers to the minimally invasive image-guided diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Low-dose CT Scan
A low-dose CT screening is used when an individual is at risk for lung cancer. It’s a special kind of imaging that takes multiple pictures as you lie on a table that slides in and out of the center of the machine. A computer then combines these images into a detailed picture of your lungs.
Quick, painless and non-invasive, low-dose CT can help detect lung cancer before it’s visible on an X-ray, and before you have symptoms. This is critical, because when diagnosed at an early stage, the chance for cure is greatest.
Click here to determine if you are a candidate for this screening.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare is designated by the American College of Radiology as a top provider of safe and effective lung cancer screening.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is used by Radiologists to view internal body structures using combinations of radio waves and magnetic fields. MRIs are noninvasive or minimally invasive if a contrasting agent is used. An MRI utilizes the properties of magnetism to create nondestructive, three dimensional images of soft tissue such as the brain, spinal cord, organs or muscles.
Nuclear Medicine is a department of Imaging that uses very small amounts of radioactive material (isotopes) to diagnose disease. This can include many types of cancers, heart disease, gall bladder disease, bone disorders, and other abnormalities within the body. Nuclear Medicine at St. Elizabeth Healthcare includes traditional Nuclear Medicine as well as PET/CT.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare is pleased to be one of only a small number of facilities in the Tri-state to have an in-hospital, dedicated PET/CT scanner. This form of medical imaging is the gold standard in the detection and staging of cancer.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s dedicated PET/CT scanner, the General Electric Discovery ST, allows the hospital to perform specific scans to diagnose almost all common forms of cancer. In numerous instances, PET/CT is able to detect cancerous activity in areas that appear normal on a CT or an X-ray. It is valuable not only in detecting an initial lesion but also in identifying secondary lesions and determining if the cancer has metastasized and into which areas of the body.
Statistics show that the results of a PET/CT scan will alter a cancer patient’s intended course of treatment in a significant number of cases. This is because the physician has an abundance of information including the size, shape, location, form, and density of the tumor and any metastatic activity or additional cancers.
A PET/CT scanner combines the image derived from a dedicated PET scan with that of a CT scan in a single examination. PET scans distinguish normal from abnormal metabolic activity while CT scans identify the body’s anatomy. The union of these two modalities makes PET/CT scanning ideal for use in the diagnosis and staging of cancers.
A radiopharmaceutical tracer, FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose), is used in conjunction with PET scans to “light up” cancerous lesions or other suspected abnormalities in the body. Abnormal cells use or metabolize a greater amount of this oxygen-sugar product than normal cells so more of the tracer is left in the abnormal cells. This, in turn, causes these abnormal cells to “light up” on a PET image. A CT scan utilizes a sequence of X-rays to create highly detailed, computer-generated images that show location, size, shape, form, and density.
Ultrasound imaging uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of an internal organ or of a fetus developing in the womb. Ultrasound differs from radiologic imaging in that there is no ionizing radiation involved.