What Do MRIs Show Us?

The thing about technology is that just because a piece of technology is used primarily in one area of study doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as effective in another. Medical imaging is one of those fields. MRIs are one method of medical imaging that is used in other industries and other fields of medicine. You may be wondering, what do MRIs show us?  Let’s explore how this valuable technology is bringing answers and ideas to all fields of people.

History

MRIs don’t only reveal what is happening currently to a body, they can give us information about what was happening to a body long after the person has passed away. Now, when explorers and archaeologists find skeletons or fossils, they will perform MRIs on the remains to determine things like age, height, race, cause of death and many other facts. Most recently, a 2,500 skeleton believed to be the remains of an ancient Pazyryk princess was found to have died from breast cancer. Incredible, isn’t it? Usually, only bones remain but they can still be used to gather tons of information. MRIs do not use radiation so scientists don’t have to worry about damaging fragile pieces or destroying DNA.

Sports Injuries

When a professional athlete has an injury, the first thing that is done is to take him or her for an MRI. MRIs are the best for professional athletes because their injuries are typically musculoskeletal like hairline fractures, ACL tears, sprains and concussions. MRIs are the best equipment to examine these kinds of injuries because they can look through several layers of bone, muscles and joints and see right to the area that is damaged. By being sure of the injury, coaches and athletes can plan accordingly.

Medical Problems

What do MRIs show us besides how history and injury? Medical conditions of course. MRIs are primarily used for diagnosis and determining disease conditions. MRIs use the power of magnet and radio waves to take images of the organs and tissues. MRIs are particularly adept at examining the vascular system, helping to aid the discovery of heart conditions like blocked arteries, holes and high blood pressure. MRIs are also used for determining the presence of cancer. While biopsy are what confirms that diagnosis, if a physician has a suspension that cells might be cancerous, they will likely schedule an MRI appointment.

Research

MRIs are also primarily used in different kinds of research. For example, thanks to MRI technology, doctors are getting closer to finding the gene variant that results in Alzheimer’s. One recent study has used MRIs to reveal that there are definitive biomarkers that can predict and validate a condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome. These and other health issues are getting more illumination thanks to the information gleaned from MRI tests.
MRIs provide so much valuable information without becoming invasive or causing pain making them the preferred choice for many kinds of institutions. To find out more information about MRIs or what they are used for, visit our MRI Service Page or call Doctors Imaging in Metairie at 504-833-8111.

Understanding CT Scans and Their Remarkable Images

CT scans have been a tool for diagnostic medicine for several decades. As medical technology and research become more advanced, this tool has been found in places other than hospitals, places like laboratories and history books. By using the power of CT machines, numerous educational institutions are able to use CT technology to decipher and explain the mysteries of the past.

CT scans, or computed tomography, use computer technology along with X-ray capabilities to photograph the internal organs. CT imaging produces cross-sectional images of the organs, so that doctors do not just see a flat picture, they see splices of the examined area. With CT scans, doctors can see through, into and around different body parts without the impediment of things like bones and muscles. This allows for a high level of detail and accuracy when looking at a patient’s body and finding the cause of disease.

Understanding CT scans is a key skill for historians that specialize in the discovering that which has been dead and buried for centuries. For many archeologists and scholars, CTs can provide answers that no other method of academia can. They can even act as a forensic tool in solving centuries old mysteries. The most recent example of this is British scholars finding the skeleton of King Richard III, a man who died over 500 years ago. While the stories and portrayal of King Richard III may be varied and less than perfect, what cannot be denied is how he died, thanks to understanding CT scans.

For many centuries, the skeleton of King Richard III was misplaced, a highly unusual fact for a person of royalty. In 2012, a group of scholars matched a map of the Battle of Bosworth Field and found what they believed to be the King’s skeleton underneath a mediocre parking lot in central London. However amazing their discovery might have been, without concrete, forensic evidence, there would be no way to prove that this was the skeleton of a former English ruler.

Different accounts of Richard III remark at his physical appearance, most notably, a hunchback. The unearthed skeleton contained a spine curvature combined with his location, those who found him were positive that it was the former king. Historians were able to test the DNA of surviving relatives to Richard III find out more about his appearance and answer the question as to how he died. By understanding CT scans and examining the skull, they were able to determine 2 specific blows to the head as well as an additional 11 other harmful injuries on the body that likely contributed to his death. They were able to discover these facts about a 500 year old skeleton thanks to the high imaging features of CT scans. Imagine what they can see in you!

CTs work to take “slices” of the body’s interior, meaning that if there is a spot or area to be examined, the machine takes several images of the same part but from multiple angles, ensuring that nothing is missed.  They are able to uncover what cannot be seen by the naked eye. And for patients that need CTs, they are the best way to get critical medical information without making any incisions. Because of the low dosage of radiation used in CTs, children and senior citizens can experience the benefits and advantages that CTs offer. This technology helps so many doctors and their patients, as well as scholars and their students, find answers and help maintain a high quality of life.

If you have other questions about what CTs can see and do, check out the CT Scan Service Page on Doctors Imaging website or you can call 504-883-8111 and speak to a representative.

The History of Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is a form of technology that has revolutionized the medical field in the past century.  With these new innovations, doctors were able to elevate the standard of practice and the experience of the patient. Now, areas of pain or trouble can be non-invasively examined and treatment can begin without the patient even needing to go under. But when did the innovation of medical imaging begin?

Read below to take a trip down memory lane and find out how the medical field and the technology industry have been working together to build a better, healthier world.

1895

Professor Wilhelm Röntgen accidently discovers the ability to look through the skin and see the bones of the body while performing experiments on another project. While working with a cathode ray generator, he noticed an image that was left when the cathode rays came into contact with the vacuum tube. He performed the first X-ray on his wife’s hand and even gave the technology the name we use today, calling this discovery “X” rays because they were unsure what exactly they were. This invention was eventually standardized by William Coolidge and his X-ray known as the “Coolidge tube” is what all modern X-ray machines are based from.  The first X-rays required at least 11 minutes of exposure to produce a quality image. Now X-rays take only a few seconds and they use about 2% of the radiation amount seen in the early 20th century machines.

1960s

The basics of sonar had been discovered and utilized during World War II as a form of maritime warfare. In the early 1960s, scientists discovered that sending sound waves into the body would bounce off the internal structures and then returned to the ultrasound machine to be reformatted into images for doctors to see. This allowed doctors to non-invasively search for tumors and other growths.

1970

Dr. Raymond Damadian discovers that different animal tissues emit different signals as well as that cancerous tissues take much longer to return the signal sent through them. This is the basis for magnetic resonance imaging. In 1977, Dr. Damadian created the first full body MRI machine which he named the “Indomitable.”

1972

The 1970s showed the first instance of computer technology mixing into the medical field with Sir Godfrey Hounsfield’s invention of the CT machine. He theorizes that you could see into an object if you took X-rays from different angles of the object through a machine that would appear as “slices” which could then be put together to form an image. With his idea he formed the first “axial tomography” machine which we now know as the CT machine. In 1979, he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and was later knighted by the British Royal Family.

Since then, all of these machines have entered into the digital age and are now updated with the latest technology available. This means that there is less potential risk for patients as well as a greater ability to diagnose and treat. If you have questions about medical imaging, speak to your radiologist about scheduling an appointment soon.

Looking for medical imaging in the Louisiana area? At Doctors Imaging, we’re Radiologists concerned with patient care. Meet our Radiologists here.