Types of Imaging
Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is a measurement of the concentration of minerals in the bones which are vital for strong bones. A high BMD indicates above average amounts of calcium and phosphates in the bones, while a below-normal bone mineral density can indicate a loss of bone mass, possibly from osteoporosis. A BMD examination will assess the integrity of your bones; it does not provide a diagnosis for pain or measure arthritic changes. For more information, click here.
Computed Tomography (CT) scans combine the use of a computer with a rotating x-ray device to create detailed cross-sectional images or "slices" of the different organs and body sections. These slices are then assembled in two-dimensional, high-resolution images by a computer. CT imaging is considered safe and the diagnostic benefit of a CT scan outweighs the risks of x-ray radiation exposure or injections of contrast media.
CT has the unique ability to present an image of a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels. For example, a conventional x-ray image of the head can only show the dense bone structures of the skull, whereas a CT image of the head allows physicians to also see soft tissue structures, such as the brain and blood vessels. As a result, CT scans provide better precision and reveal more information than a regular x-ray exam. For more information, click here.
GGH offers a state-of–the-art Digital Mammography x-ray procedure which has been proven to be effective at diagnosing abnormalities in dense breast tissue, often when abnormalities are still too small to be felt. The technologist will explain the procedure, review the medical history and answer any questions. Each breast will be compressed for only a few seconds. This should not be painful, although it can be uncomfortable. Compression is extremely important as it provides a clearer image of the breast by separating the tissue and also reduces radiation exposure. For more information about mammography click here.
Guelph General Hospital also has a one-day Breast Assessment Clinic. It is designed to significantly reduce the amount of time a woman spends waiting to know whether or not she has breast cancer.
The patient’s journey usually begins when a lump is found or a shadow appears on a screening mammogram. Then, it can take up to three visits to the hospital over a four to six week period before a diagnosis can be made. Usually, a second mammogram is needed which may be followed by an ultrasound. Then, some will need a needle biopsy with the sample sent to the lab. Now with the new clinic, all that is done in one day.
It can result in quickly getting good news too. Some women will have a false alarm because something abnormal is found on mammogram but after more tests, no cancer is found.
The clinic is held every Wednesday. An appointment at the clinic requires a referral from a physician.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless way to take pictures of soft tissues of the body and is especially valuable in diagnosing brain and nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. An MRI provides greater accuracy in detecting certain disease and does not require radiation or surgery.
The procedure involves the use of a large magnet, imaging coils, and a computer working together to produce accurate cross-sectional images of any part of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons and blood flow. It has no known side effects or risks and is considered safe for both children and adults. The images produced by an MRI scan provide the doctor or specialist with very clear and detailed pictures of the area of suspected problems. For more information, click here.
MRI Patient Safety Form
MRI Patient Information
MRI Preparation - relaxation techniques
The latest addition to the Hospital’s arsenal of high tech diagnostic tools is the Tom and Margaret Trainor Nuclear Medicine Suite. Nuclear medicine is a safe and painless procedure. It records information about the function and structure of the major organs in the human body, unlike general radiology which creates images of dense bone structures. Common nuclear medicine applications include diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism (a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much hormone), cardiac stress tests to analyze heart function, bone scans for orthopedic injuries, lung scans for blood clots, and liver and gall bladder procedures to diagnose malfunctions or blockages. For more information, click here.
An ultrasound test is a modern medical diagnostic procedure which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the organs and structures of the body. Because high-frequency sound waves cannot penetrate bone or air, they are especially useful for imaging the soft tissues and fluid-filled spaces of the human body An ultrasound test can indicate if and when surgery is needed. It can identify and locate aneurysms, blood clots, damaged tissues, heart problems, abnormal growths, and other diseases. It also offers an accurate way to diagnose any fetal abnormalities, multiple pregnancy, tubal pregnancy, cysts, and tumours in the pelvic organs. For more information about ultrasounds please click here.
X-rays are electromagnetic radiation waves used to create images of tissues within the human body. Because of its high energy and short wavelength, x-rays are able to penetrate the body's tissues and bones. The amount of x-rays that pass through will depend on the composition and mass of the tissues. For more information, click here.