Bone density scans are done on patients to help detect when bones are thinning. Bone density scans are also useful in individuals who are already aware that they have thinning bones to tell them exactly how fast their condition is progressing. Dual energy X-Ray absorptiometry scans (DEXA scans) are the most common form of bone density scans. DEXA scans are used in a couple different ways in preventative medicine.

Post-Menopausal Women

DEXA scans are used as preventative medicine for women who are not on estrogen therapy and have gone through early menopause or who have had their ovaries surgically removed before the age of 45. The body produces estrogen that helps maintain a woman’s bone density, once the body stops producing estrogen, bone density scans can help pinpoint whether the woman is suffering from thinning bones.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

DEXA scans are also used in patients who have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medication that is given for Rheumatoid Arthritis can often lead to significant bone loss in patients. DEXA scans can help pinpoint whether bone loss has begun in a patient.

Individuals Who Have Received a Fracture from Mild Trauma

DEXA scans are also very helpful in preventative medicine in individuals who have suffered from a fractured bone from a very mild trauma. The scan can display whether the patient is suffering from thinning bones and the risk of developing any other bone fractures.

Osteoporosis

A DEXA scan is also very beneficial to people who suffer from osteoporosis because it can assess the risk of potential bone fractures. It is also an important tool that can be used to diagnose osteoporosis even before symptoms occur.

DEXA scans not only help pinpoint whether bone thinning has begun, but can also show how far along the condition is if it has begun. Bone density scans are very useful in preventative healthcare to identify the issue of thinning bones before it continues to progress. Contact West Covina Dexa scan to schedule an appointment today.

   Importance of MRI for Chronic Diseases

With major advancements in medical technology, the ability to diagnose potential health problems has never been greater. This fact provides every individual with an opportunity to use preventative medicine in a manner that provides extraordinary benefits to you as a patient. For example, the high field Tesla MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, can produce images of the body at a much higher magnet strength to identify potentially serious conditions such as coronary artery disease.

At the San Gabriel Valley Diagnostic Center we are using state-of-the-art MRI technology to help identify potential weaknesses or problems with soft-tissue structures that are vital to bone health and function. These soft-tissue structures include muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Preventive Measures for Injury

By identifying small problems before they become serious conditions, we are able to direct our patients to use preventive measures to avoid further structural damage or injury. By avoiding such medical problems, we can help our patient avoid unwanted surgical procedures that may have been preventable. No one enjoys having a surgical procedure on their lungs or heart that usually leads to discomfort, a significant recovery period. Our preventive diagnosis may prevent these kinds of issues.

Additionally, a preventative diagnosis is an important component to keeping medical costs down. The price of one high-field MRI is certainly more affordable than a full-blown surgical procedure that includes hospitalization and physical therapy.

Soft-Tissue Problems

If you or your family have a history of soft-tissue problems or internal organ failure, it might be a wise decision to consult with our doctors about the possible ways you could benefit from a preventive MRI. The reality is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the use of modern technology.

Contact our MRI specialists online or call us directly to schedule a consultation at 1-877-967-4832.

 

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Photo Credit: Renal and Urology News

Several issues come to mind when there are sharp pains coming from your ribs and back. When you have trouble deciphering between painful urination and a fever then chances are you may be showing symptoms of kidney stones. Although not every symptom in the book reveals itself when you have kidney stones, a patient’s next best option is to turn to the guidance of a professional board certified radiologist for a thorough diagnosis. Ultrasounds or sonography image of the body’s internal organs are now becoming the increasingly popular solution to detect the presence of kidney stones, without exposing patients or operating medical staff to radiation.

An Ultrasound West Covina patients experience is the imaging technique designed to visualize muscles, tendons, and internal organs to capture their real-time status. During this procedure, a trained sonographer will spread warm gel on the skin at the site desired and place a transducer, or probe, firmly against the skin to read through the thick layers of skin and muscle.

Ultrasound images are useful to help assess the condition of kidneys and detect various tumors and kidney stones. Well it is becoming a more efficient procedure to reduce the use and expense of costly computed tomography (CT scans).

Ultrasound versus CT Scans

We realize that the sudden presence of pain and discomfort from kidney stones is what drives patients to the emergency room every year. Since CT scans have traditionally made their mark for frequent use of detecting urinary stone diseases or diagnose other medical conditions there is a constant desire to replace the repetition of scans due to radiation exposure and high costs of CT scans compared to ultrasounds. As per a recent study published in The Journal of Urology, the official journal of the American Urological Association, the use of ultrasounds are effective in the detection of renal stones. Researchers reported that all renal stones were detected in 428 patients at a sensitivity rate of 70 percent and specificity rate of 94.4 percent. Comparing rates of radiation, the CT scan led to significantly higher radiation exposure for patients (17.5mSv) compared to ultrasound patients performed by a radiologist (9.3 mSv) or an emergency room physician (10.5 mSv).

Accurate diagnosis and patient safety are top priorities for every reputable medical imaging staff. This study confirms that the use of ultrasound diagnostics is formally deemed as safe diagnostic procedures and highly accurate without any signs of interruption. All the while it stands as a contributing energy saver for both the patient and health diagnostic center.

 

CAT ScanLike many Americans realize already, coronary artery disease is the number one killer in the nation. Having plaque in your arteries puts you at a higher risk of developing deadly heart diseases such as CAD, and all too often it goes undetected until an individual springs up with a heart attack. Studies are revealing that CAT scans, or computed tomography (CT scans), are capable of catching on to the risks of deadly heart diseases by measuring cardiac calcium scoring in consumers.

A CAT scan is a sophisticated X-ray visual imaging system that provides cross-sectional images of the heart. This allows a cardiologist to see if the coronary arteries that provide blood flow to the heart muscle contain calcium. This is known as a calcium scan. A calcium scan in the past is typically expensive, time-consuming and invasive, which pose risky situations for elderly adults. However, now a CT scan is capable of scoring the amount of calcium deposits found in major arteries to deter the process of blockage.

What is a Calcium Score?

A calcium score is an evaluation of calcified plaque developing in the coronary arteries. Over time, blood vessels have a way of developing fatty deposits and in a in its own defense, the body will attempt to convert the deposits into calcium or soft plaque. Soft plaque can break free or cause blockage in vessels which can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. The amount of calcium detected from a CAT scan is quantitative for each artery and a total score is determined. A total score is an indication of the risk of coronary stenosis, the instance where a coronary artery is backed up from materials such as fat or cholesterol. The higher the total score is, increases the risk of significant blockage, but low total scores do not suggest the heart is disease-free or heart attack-free.

When Should I Know My Calcium Score?

Generally, patients who are at an intermediate risk of coronary artery disease will benefit from obtaining a calcium score. If you are found at an intermediate risk you may be labeled in two or more of the following:

  • Age (Men above 40 and women over 50)

  • Obesity

  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

Although calcium is not dangerous in most cases, it contributes to hardening in the heart’s main arteries and is an early indication for coronary heart disease. As per the study from the American College of Cardiology, researchers found calcium score testing to be a better assessment tool for predicting long-term heart issues, especially when evaluating low-risk patients. Calcium scoring can help catch patients who are on the way to developing heart disease earlier than other available tests.

The optimal calcium score is zero (no calcium detected), but even with a low score you are not always in the clear of heart disease. Scores from 1 to 99 are considered low; 100 to 399, moderate and above 400, high. The higher the calcium score detected from a CAT scan will help to predict cardiac events or the need for coronary bypass surgery, pending your cardiologist’s recommendations.

Although, a CAT scan is not recommended for routine screening for coronary artery disease, it is recommended or patients with a family history or other risk factors of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, tobacco use or high cholesterol. It is capable of finding heart disease at a much earlier stage and assists your cardiologist in determining the proper approach for treatment.

 

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Osteoporosis is a serious condition where bone density decreases through deterioration and thinning of bone tissue. Many people are unaware of who is more or less likely to suffer from osteoporosis and what steps to take if you are concerned about bone density. Take a few moments to get some of the basic facts in line and what you can do about it. Spoiler alert: this is slightly more serious than just drinking a glass of milk a day.

Who is most likely to Suffer from Osteoporosis?

It is often said that post-menopausal women are at the greatest risk for bone density deterioration. Sadly, the list is a little more extensive than that and many of the people potentially at risk are in their positions due to genetics. As the Mayo Clinic explains, there are several unalterable biological factors that are common amongst osteoporosis sufferers. These factors are your sex, family history, race, age, and frame size. Women are more likely to suffer than men, white and Asian ethnicities have a higher percentage of cases than other races, the elderly are at the greatest risk, and people with small frames have less bone density to draw from as they age. Don’t worry; this list isn’t as far reaching and scary as it may sound. There’s also a lot you can do to minimize your potential risk.

What can you do to Prevent Osteoporosis?

There are three big lifestyle attributes most commonly associated with osteoporosis and they are smoking, being sedentary, and drinking excessively. The good news is that all of these can easily be eliminated from your life, or at least mitigated. In other words, use common sense and practice a healthy lifestyle to minimize your risk of any serious medical condition, including osteoporosis.

Get Checked

Always get routine checkups and regular doctor visits to stay on top of your general well-being. Also, if you have any reason to suspect that your bone density is being depleted, then you may need a DEXA. This the process by which bone density is measured and an overall analysis of your skeletal health can be measured. Call a professional today to see if you may need a DEXA scan to prevent any further bone health risks.

A Brief Reminder: What Exactly is an MRI?

If you’ve ever faced a serious illness, head trauma, or some other internal health dilemma, then you’ve probably had an MRI. The process known as Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) is used to investigate areas inside of your body that are really difficult to access without surgery. An MRI is necessary when other procedures fail to provide your health care provider with enough information on a host of issues. It could be related to your blood, blood vessels, internal injury, tumors, etc. Typically, when an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan is insufficient, then a doctor will recommend Magnetic Resonance Imaging for you.

Which Part of the Body Needs an MRI?

Given the overwhelming success of the process, there are few limitations on which part of your body they can examine using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Therefore, the procedure is used for people suffering from issues related to their head, chest, pelvis, bones, joints, spine, and blood vessels. No matter which part of your body is subject to the process, there is always one thing many people fear and that’s lying down on inside of that big machine for up to an hour without moving.

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Claustrophobia and an MRI

It’s been shown that 5-11% of Americans have admitted to bouts of claustrophobia before having an MRI. Even for those who do not typically suffer from claustrophobia, the idea of getting inside of that big machine can make us feel the stress of being in a cramped space for such a long period of time. Fortunately, the medical industry is starting to find ways to accommodate these feelings.

Medical facilities such as San Gabriel Valley Diagnostics Center have what is known as an “open” MRI unit. These machines are designed to alleviate some of the procedural spatial concerns for patients. As of right now, these machines come in first and second generation with the differences between the two machines being mostly in their design.

What You can do about Your Claustrophobia

If you truly suffer from feeling claustrophobic when thinking about an MRI, then consider taking some steps to mitigate any of those concerns. If you are truly unable to cope with the procedure, then some facilities may offer you a minor sedative, which will require that you bring a driver with you for your appointment. You can also arrange a time prior to your appointment to see where you’ll be examined. This will allow you to take a look at the machine and become acquainted. Unexpected surprises on the actual day of your appointment can cause unnecessary stress. Another popular coping mechanism is using music. Ask if you can bring in some way of playing music to calm your nerves.

At the end of the day, remember that when you’re lying inside of the machine, you can always speak with the technician using the two-way intercom system. This is why it’s important to use a medical facility you can trust.

Diagnosing Internal Injuries

Accidents and emergencies are something that all of us have to live with. Every day we are all susceptible to the unknown and to physical injury that can accompany when accidents happen; often enough the damage that we can see with our eyes may be minimal, but internal damage can be fatal if it is not acknowledged and treated properly. In all cases of physical trauma it is best to investigate the extent of the damage and to know what to do.

Trauma and Internal Damage

According to WebMD internal bleeding is “one of the most serious consequences” that result from physical injury. Bleeding and any external signs are common, but internal bleeding after light trauma can occur up to a few hours or days after the initial injury. Bleeding internally or sustaining damage that is imperceptible to the human eye can be life-threatening.

Blunt trauma is the first of the two types of physical injury that can lead to internal damage. This type of trauma involved physical collision with something external. Depending on the speed or the physical composition of whatever we collide with, blood vessels inside the body can be crushed and even our bones can suffer imperceptible damage. The following are only some of the causes for internal damage:
• Car Accidents
• Motorcycle Accidents
• Sports Related Injuries
• Accidental Slips and Falls
• Injuries at the Work Place
• Physical Assault

What to Do

In order to make sure that your body hasn’t sustained life-threatening internal damage it is important to turn to internal medical imaging professionals who can examine you. Using the most up-to-date technology (Hi-Field Tesla, Open MRI, High Speed Spiral CT, DEXA, Ultrasound, and Digital X-ray) these professionals can potentially save your life depending on the types of injuries you’ve sustained but may not be aware of.

More often than not, when we are injured it’s common to take the “walk-it-off” approach and choose not to undergo thorough examinations. As common as this mentality is, it can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

What can often occur during these routine check-ups, and which is invaluable, is that other internal problems (like cancerous growths or internal tumors) can be spotted accidentally. Having a routine full body scan can save your life from something that you were never even considering could be present in your body.