Radiology and medical imaging services at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center

Radiology is a medical specialty where advanced technology and techniques are used to create images of the inside of the body. Radiologists interpret these images and use them to diagnose and treat diseases. P/SL offers a comprehensive list of radiology services that play a pivotal role in a patient’s treatment.

CT scan (computed tomography imaging)

A CT scan, also known as a CAT scan (computerized axial tomography), is a medical imaging method that uses a series of x-ray images taken from different angles to generate detailed cross-sectional images of the body. CT scans are often helpful in providing a quick examination of people who may have internal injuries from a car accident or another type of trauma, to guide biopsies and to plan medical, surgical or radiation treatment.

P/SL, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, is the only hospital in Colorado (and one of the few in the nation) to own an Acquilion One 320-slice CT scan system, one of the most advanced CT scanners in the world.

CT scans are using in the following tests and procedures:

  • CT angiography – provides detailed pictures of both blood vessels and tissues throughout the body where contrast materials are used to improve viewability
  • 3D imaging – provides a three-dimensional image of a particular body part
  • Cardiac imaging – provides pictures of coronary arteries to look for blockage or plaque buildup, key indicators of increased risk of a heart attack
  • Virtual colonoscopy – allows the large intestine to be examined for cancer or polyps

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI uses magnetic fields, not radiation, to create pictures of the internal organs and structures inside the body. MRIs help doctors diagnose conditions and internal injuries and check to see if medicines or treatments are working properly.

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – an MRI scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body (without a contrast agent as used in CT angiography)
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) – compares the chemical composition of normal brain tissue with abnormal tumor tissue. This test can also be used to detect tissue changes in stroke and epilepsy

Digital diagnostic radiology

Digital radiology pertains to a form of x-ray imaging where digital x-ray sensors are utilized instead of photographic film.

  • X-ray – a form of imaging utilizing digital x-ray sensors rather than photographic film
  • Fluoroscopy – uses a continuous x-ray, rather than one single picture, almost like an ‘x-ray movie’

Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty where small amounts of radioactive material are used to diagnose and determine the severity of or how to treat a disease.

  • PET scanning – a type of imaging where radioactive ‘tracers’ are injected into the body and absorbed by the bloodstream to show how organs and tissue are working
  • SPECT imaging – similar to a PET scan, but takes longer and is less expensive
  • Thyroid therapy – a treatment where radioactive iodine is used to treat hyperthyroidism or even thyroid cancer

Radiology’s role pertaining to cancer and interventional procedures

Radiology plays a critical role when it comes to cancer, whether being used to find and diagnose the disease (staging) or as a means of helping treat the disease (tumor embolization and intra-arterial chemotherapy).

  • Detailed cancer staging and restaging
    • tumor volume measurement
    • PET scanning
    • Image fusion techniques
  • Tumor embolization
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy

The advantages of choosing Presbyterian/St. Luke’s radiology department

Patient images and reports are instantly viewable for physicians

Referring physicians are able to view their patient's images and reports via the Internet or directly on the P/SL imaging intranet if their office is on campus. Off-campus practices can access our PACS webserver, and retrieve images and reports. A patient's complete image record also can be provided on CD at any time.

Easy access to previous imaging studies at other facilities

Our radiology group has a wide-area network that makes it easy to compare a patient's previous imaging at many other facilities with the current studies, regardless of the distance.

We’re always on the leading edge of technology

Our medical imaging department is equipped with the latest technology. Participating in development projects with Toshiba Medical Systems, GE Healthcare and IDC ensure that our digital imaging will remain at the leading edge of technology.

Extra protection through our Radiation Right® safety program

Our Radiation Right® safety program follows nationally approved safety protocols that prevent accidental or excessive exposure, helping to ensure that you receive the lowest effective dose of radiation.