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Radiology Department

  • Radiology Services

Radiology Services

CT Scanning

A CT Scan, also called computerized tomography, combines a series of x-ray views taken from many different angles to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body. A CT scan provides more detailed images than conventional x-rays, allowing images to be looked at individually in 2-D or 3-D.

The scanners at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center are accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) for adult and pediatric patients, and we follow the guidelines of Image Gently Campaign. All of our technologists have taken this campaign pledge to use only the needed amount of radiation for the individual patient.


What is contrast material?

Contrast material is sometimes needed for some CT scans to help highlight the areas of the body being examined. The contrast can help emphasize blood vessels, bowel and other structures.

  • You may need to drink a contrast material that may taste unpleasant and cause side effects.
  • An intravenous (IV) contrast may be needed to help visualize blood vessels and organs. You may experience a warm sensation and metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Sometimes, blood work may be required prior to the injection of IV contrast to confirm proper function of kidneys.

Could I experience a reaction to contrast material?

Although rare, the intravenous (IV) contrast material used in some CT scans can cause allergic reactions in some people. Most reactions are mild and result in hives or sneezing, but in rare instances an allergic reaction can be serious. Make sure to tell your doctor if you’ve ever had a prior reaction to contrast material during medical tests.

What can I expect after the CT scan?

After the scan, you may resume normal activity. If you received contrast material, you will be encouraged to drink extra fluids to help remove the contrast from your body.

When can I expect results?

The results of your CT scan will be sent to the physician who ordered your test within 24 hours.

View Additional Information on CT Procedures


This non-invasive test allows X-ray examination of organs in real time. This may be done in conjunction with the administration of a contrast agent that is given orally (upper GI), rectally (barium enema), intra-articularly (arthrography), or intra-uterinely (HSG).

Fluoroscopy uses x-ray to produce real-time video images. After the x-rays pass through the patient, instead of using film, they are captured by a device called an image intensifier and converted into light. The light is then captured by a TV camera and displayed on a video monitor.

General Radiology (Radiography)

Radiography, or as it is most commonly known, x-ray, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. Discovered more than a century ago, x-rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body digitally on a computer screen.

X-ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones, joint or spine injuries. At least two images (from different angles) are taken and often three images are needed if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow or wrist). X-rays also play a key role in guiding orthopedic surgery and in the treatment of sports-related injuries. X-ray may uncover more advanced forms of cancer in bones although early screening for cancer findings requires other methods.

Radiologists have developed alternative imaging methods that do not rely solely on radiation, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, because x-ray was the first imaging modality, many people continue to use the term "radiology" to include all types of imaging. Strictly speaking, though, radiology refers to the use of x-rays.

Interventional Radiology (I.R.)

This subspecialty (in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance) and the Cardiac Catheterization Labs combine to make the Cardiovascular Radiology Department.  Some procedures are done for diagnostic purposes while others are done for treatment purposes.  Images are used to direct these procedures, which are usually done with needles or other tiny instruments like small tubes called catheters. The images provide road maps that allow the Interventional Radiologist to guide these instruments through the body to the areas of interest.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field rather than x-rays to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. The technique has proven very valuable for the diagnosis of a broad range of pathologic conditions in all parts of the body including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. MRI requires specialized equipment and expertise and allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods.

MRI combines a large magnetic field and radio frequency antennas (coils) to produce a 2-D or 3-D picture. The magnetic field causes protons in the molecules of your body to line up. The electromagnetic pulse of the scanner then knocks many of the protons out of that alignment producing a resonance or signal. A sensitive radio antenna listens to the resonance signal each proton gives off as it goes back into the alignment to the magnet.

What is a MRA?

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) uses the same MRI machine with a different technique that can be performed of blood vessels in any body part. This is a non-invasive angiographic technique to visualize the vessels.

What should I expect for these exams?

You will be asked to change into appropriate clothing for whatever body part needs to be scanned, removing all metal, jewelry, dentures or objects in your pockets. You will lie down on your back or stomach. A coil or antenna will be placed near or around the involved body part, then that part will be placed into the center (isocenter) of the magnet.

The MRI team will work together with the physicians to deliver the highest quality studies in a safe possible environment with kindness and compassion.


GE Signa LX 1.5 Tesla 300lb weight limit

Here at Shady Grove we are able to image the Brain, Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis, and extremity studies necessary to diagnose all pathology or problems.

At this time we are unable to scan breasts. We look forward to offering this study in the near future.

View Additional Information on MRI Procedures

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty that is used to diagnose and treat diseases by using medicine (a pharmaceutical) that is attached to a small quantity of radioactive material (a radioisotope). These radiopharmaceuticals are available to study many different organs and/or systems of the body on a molecular level. Which radiopharmaceutical is used will depend upon the condition to be diagnosed or treated. Nuclear medicine procedures permit the determination of medical information that may otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or necessitate more expensive and invasive diagnostic tests. The procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progression of the disease - long before some medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. This early detection allows a disease to be treated sooner in its course.

The Nuclear Medicine Department at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center has received the American College of Radiology (ACR) Gold Seal of Accreditation, in recognition of providing the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

Nuclear Medicine FAQ's

How is nuclear medicine different from x-ray, CT, ultrasound and MRI?

Nuclear medicine can detect the radiation coming from inside a patient's body. All of these other procedures expose the patient to radiation from outside the body using machines that send radiation through the body. As a result, nuclear medicine determines the cause of a medical problem based on organ function in contrast to other diagnostic tests that determine the presence of disease based on anatomy or structural appearance. Functionality is stressed over structure.

Shady Grove’s Nuclear Medicine Department works closely with the Thyroid Center at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center.


View Additional Information on Nuclear Medicine Procedures


Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system for the examination of breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.

At Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, we perform digital mammography on every patient, every time. The Radiologist is then able to apply Computer Aided Detection (CAD) to the images to assist in the detection of suspicious areas on the mammogram. Patients are provided with their results at the completion of their visit. We also have Radiologist certified to perform breast biopsies if further testing is needed.

Digital mammography is the most advanced tool used in detecting breast cancer. The major benefits of digital mammography include:

  • Better image quality, especially for dense breast tissue
  • Reduced radiation exposure without compromising diagnostic quality
  • Overall increased detection rate for breast cancer
  • Faster and more efficient exam time

Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40. Research has shown that annual mammograms lead to early detection of breast cancers, when they are most curable and breast-conservation therapies are available.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening

* Shady Grove's Mammography services are accredited by the American College of Radiology

View Additional Information on Mammography Procedures


Ultrasound imaging or sonography, in the Radiology Department, is a diagnostic procedure using high-frequency sound waves to image soft tissue organs or vessels throughout the body.

Diagnostic medical sonographers use transducers or probes that transmit sound waves to the organs or vessels in your body. The sound waves bounce off the structure and returns back to the transducer to reflect an image. The sonographer controls the computer to put together an image that the Radiologist (the physician who reads the images) will interpret for your diagnosis. Ultrasound imaging can define small structural defects and abnormalities with a high level of precision in most parts of the body. Examples of ultrasound pathologies are gallstones, kidney obstruction, enlarged liver or spleen, thyroid nodules, breast cysts, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, plaque in arteries and blood clots in veins. Most patients are familiar with its common use for fetal evaluation. It can monitor the growth of a baby and can sometimes detect the gender of your unborn child. Using color Doppler, the blood flow in veins and arteries can also be assessed. All this is accomplished without the use of radiation or contrast injections.

The sonographers here at Shady Grove, strive to meet the needs of our patients and physicians by working with state of the art machines.  The American College of Radiology accredits the department for its high quality of imaging and all staff sonographers are Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

View Additional Information on Ultrasound Procedures