Radiology is involved with using X-rays to produce images for diagnostic tests. Each hospital normally has a radiology department varying in size and scope of service. Tests such as simple X-rays can be done in a patient's room if it is safe and practical to do so. However, there are some tests where it is impractical to do in a patient's room and therefore need to be done in the radiology department. The following tests are examples that need to be completed in the radiology department.
Cat Scan (CT)
Computerized (or computed) tomography (CAT) scan, is an X-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. The CT is useful in the diagnosis of: fractures, bleeding, tumors, infarction, and infections.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or (MRI) is a machine that uses intense magnetic fields to produce an image for diagnostic testing. It looks very similar to a CAT scan machine. A patient lies on a table and is gently inserted into the donut hole of the machine. Not everyone can undergo an MRI. This includes anyone who has metal in their body such as prosthetics, shrapnel or metal particles in the eyes. People with certain types of tattoos and pacemakers are prohibited from having an MRI. Both the MRI and CAT scan can be difficult for people who suffer from claustrophobia. Some hospitals have what is called an open MRI machine this helps cut down on claustrophobia.
A PET scan is used to scan the body for any cancer malignancies. A patient is given a contrast material through the IV line prior to this test. The PET scan detects an accumulation of this substance to areas of malignant cancer sites.
Nuclear medicine is like that of a pet scan in that a substance is given to a patient that has a slight radioactive property and is tracked by the nuclear medicine scanner. This can be administered intravenously or by inhalation. Physicians can use this technology to examine the heart, lungs, bones, brain, and any other system of the body.
A stress test is a test used to put the heart under a small amount of stress. This is to see if the heart reacts in a negative way to this induced stress. This is a great tool to see if somebody has suffered a heart attack or could potentially have a blockage in the vessel of the heart. The stress test can be done using a treadmill or medication to place stress on the heart. While the heart is being stressed a continuous EKG is performed which is later read by a cardiologist.
Please note that this section is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose any medical ailment. All concerns should be directed to your professional health care provider.
Your health care provider uses the lab values to help in the formulation of a diagnoses in conjunction of other tests and physical exam.
Here are some common tests ordered by health care practitioners.
CBC (Complete Blood Count)
RBC: (Red Blood Cells)
These cells are responsible to the transportation of Oxygen from the lungs to other areas of the body. These cells are small red disc like cells that have two con-caved sides.
WBC (White Blood Cells)
These cells are part of the immune system. Usually if this number on the lab test is high, the practitioner will order an additional test called a differential. This is where a lab technician will identify how many of each individual WBC’s are in an area of view in the microscope. The different types of white blood cells are: Neutrophils, Basophils, Eosinophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes.
Hemoglobin is the protein inside the red blood cell that attracts Oxygen molecules
to the surface of the cell for transport.
Hematocrit is the actual number of red blood cells in a given volume of whole blood
Help control bleeding
BMP (Basic Metabolic Panel)
Sodium (NA) Electrolyte
Potassium (K) Electrolyte
Chloride (CL) Electrolyte
Bicarbonate (HCO3) Electrolyte
Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Kidney function
Creatinine (CR) Kidney Function
CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel)
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
CRP (C-reactive Protein)
A rise in the CRP level can indicate inflammation within the body.
CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen)
Some types of cancer will cause a rise in the level of CEA in the blood of adults. This test is
Used if there is a suspicion of cancer. It is not normally used as a screening tool.
This is a test to see if there has been any damage to the heart muscle.
This test is used to detect blood clots in the blood stream.
This test is known as the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate.
This test is normally used to detect inflammation throughout the human body.
This is a test to see how long it takes for the blood to clot. It is normally used in conjunction with INR.
INR (International Normalized Ratio)
This test is to see how well the blood clots. Normally people taking anti-clotting medicines
Need frequent monitoring of INR levels
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