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Radiology

 

Our fully-equipped radiology department is well prepared to serve the needs of patients and physicians in our area.

At ETMC Athens we can perform a full range of diagnostic testing with X-ray, CT scanning, nuclear medicine, MRI, ultrasound, mammography and interventional radiology.

MRI
The ETMC Athens 1.5T Eclipse magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, provides outstanding MRI diagnostic capability to physicians in Henderson County. MRI produces pictures of the inside of the body, which provide physicians with invaluable diagnostic information. It uses a strong magnet, radio waves and a computer to provide these pictures, which are highly sensitive to changes in normal anatomy. MRI is painless, does not use X-rays and does not have any known side effects.

The Eclipse MRI system delivers the fastest scanning times and highest resolution images available. The system is made by Marconi/Picker International, which is one of the world's leading manufacturers of diagnostic imaging equipment.

Key benefits of the Eclipse MRI system are its short length and wide opening, which especially benefit claustrophobic and larger patients.

Because of the level of detail it provides, MRI assists physicians in the earlier diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions including brain and nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer and organ disease. Not only can earlier diagnosis lead to better treatment and better outcomes, it can also help to reduce overall healthcare costs.

CT

Computed tomography (CT) at ETMC Athens offers a computerized imaging technique that uses electromagnetic waves of energy to provide detailed views of the body. CT scans use a series of X-rays that penetrate the body to varying extents, depending upon the density of the structures being viewed. The result is black-and-white images of the body seen in cross-sections, similar to slices of bread.

The technology behind CT scans, which were first developed in the early 1970s, has advanced rapidly. While older machinery took minutes to obtain enough information for a single "slice," the same image can now be produced in seconds. Newer scanners, such as ones available at ETMC Athens, called spiral or helical scanners, are fast enough to scan the body head to toe for a trauma survey in under 30 seconds. These devices can also produce three-dimensional scans for even greater diagnostic capabilities.

A Valuable Diagnostic Tool

CT scans are performed to evaluate abnormalities that appear on other types of X-rays. A CT scan provides a direct image of soft tissue structures such as the:

 

  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas
  • Lymph nodes
  • Fatty tissues
  •  

    CT is also good for identifying and tracking large abnormalities such as tumors. CT of the head can be used to evaluate strokes, tumors, bleeding and injuries. CT performs well in providing images of bony structures including the spine, facial bones, sinuses, the skull, as well as long bones to reveal fractures, tumors or infection.

    CT scans can often prevent exploratory surgery and are also used to guide needles when taking tissue samples or guiding instruments for surgery in the brain. In addition, the technique is useful in gauging a person's recovery after an operation.

    Mammography

    In our mammography suite we have worked to enhance patient comfort and offer the convenience of extended hours. Appointments are available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    We have also enhanced quality with the Lorad M-IV Platinum, a state-of-the-art breast cancer detection system offering many imaging features that enhance image quality and reduce procedure time. ETMC Athens is the first hospital in Texas to offer this technology.

    This unit has been designed for greater patient comfort, while also providing images that are sharper than previous units. These higher contrast images aid in the early detection of breast cancer.

    Our mammography technologists have the benefit of years of experience performing mammograms, and are especially attuned to making women comfortable. The Breast Care Center's all-new mammography suite has been designed to create a soothing environment with special amenities to make patients feel pampered.

    To schedule an appointment or for more information about the mammography system at The ETMC Athens Breast Care Center, please call 903-676-2169.

    Nuclear Medicine
    The nuclear medicine program at ETMC Athens provides non-invasive cardiac stress testing that can help pinpoint areas of the heart that are not receiving enough fresh blood flow.

    In a nuclear medicine stress testing, very small amounts of radioactive material are injected into the blood stream and tracked through circulatory system.

    The blood flow is examined first under resting conditions. Then, the patient is examined under exercise conditions.

    The result provides more information than a standard stress test. The doctor actually obtains a visual image of the heart. Nuclear stress testing is 95 percent accurate in helping doctors make a determination about blockage, but additional testing may be required.

    After a nuclear stress test, a physician may request additional testing such as an angiogram to determine the proper course of treatment.

    The ETMC Athens nuclear medicine team works closely with cardiologists and often a patient's personal physician in order to obtain the best diagnostic information possible.

    Patients reporting to ETMC Athens for stress testing should wear comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for walking.

    This testing is ordered by a physician. If you do not have a doctor visit our Find A Physician Page.