This sophisticated operating room makes brain tumor surgeries less invasive, safer and more effective. learn more
This minimally invasive procedure widens the time window for stroke treatment to up to 12 hours.
The Medical Center of Plano offers a full menu of state-of-the-art neuroradiology services, including:
Computed Tomography (CT)
Often referred to as a CT or CAT scan, computed tomography is a sophisticated tool that produces pictures of areas of the body that cannot be seen on standard x-ray exams.
Normal x-ray films are two-dimensional, but CT scanning depicts anatomy at different levels within the body, an ability known as cross-sectional imaging. CT scans also show internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels with greater clarity and reveal more details than x-ray exams.
CT scans may be used to:
- Diagnose cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, appendicitis, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.
- Examine the head to check for bleeding, tumors, blood clots or signs of stroke.
- Distinguish whether a growth is solid or fluid-filled.
- Detect ruptured discs in the spine.
- Determine an organ's size and shape.
- Determine the stage of some types of cancer.
- Help plan radiation therapy.
- Guide biopsies.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This non-invasive test uses a safe but powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency pulses (the same kind that transmit FM music) and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures.
MRI is most commonly used to study the brain, spine, knee, shoulder, abdomen and the vascular system. The detailed images help physicians detect developing diseases and abnormalities that may not be seen with x-ray, ultrasound or CT scans.
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
Similar to MRI, magnetic resonance angiography produces detailed images of blood vessels, particularly those in the head, neck, lungs, kidneys and legs. This non-invasive, painless test does not require the use of catheters or surgery.
Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT)
This test combines information on metabolic function (cellular activity of a tumor or mass) and anatomy (location and size of a tumor or mass) into one clear image.
Physicians use PET/CT to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, as well as diagnose heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. PET/CT allows for earlier detection and higher diagnostic confidence than PET or CT alone can provide.
Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
Brain SPECT imaging is a nuclear medicine study that allows the visualization of brain blood flow and metabolism. In this study, a radioactive isotope is attached to a substance that is easily taken up by cells in the brain. A small amount of this compound is injected into a vein, travels through the bloodstream, and locks into brain cells.
As the isotope breaks down, it releases energy in the form of gamma rays. The gamma rays are like beacons of light that signal where the compound is in the brain. Special crystals in the SPECT gamma camera detect these beacons of light as the camera rotates around the patient's head.
About 10 million gamma rays strike the crystals during a typical scan, and a supercomputer then translates the information into sophisticated blood flow/metabolism maps and three-dimensional images of the brain. Physicians use these maps to identify patterns of brain activity that correlate to healthy brain function and those that are associated with psychiatric and neurological illnesses.