Diagnostic Procedures


MRI is a noninvasive test that uses magnetic energy to create images.  It does not use radiation.  Sometimes IV contrast is given during the scan.  Sometimes we inject contrast into a joint before the scan to improve the images.

Did you know that Boone Hospital has the only open MRI in mid-Missouri for people who are claustrophobic?  And the strongest clinical MRI machine (3 Tesla) in mid-Missouri available for advanced imaging?

We can provide IV conscious sedation or consult with our anesthesiology colleagues for general anesthesia if necessary.   Click here for more information.

Preparation:   Little is needed.  You cannot take any metal objects into the machine.  Your technologist will ask you about any metal implants you might have in your body.

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CT (computerized tomography or CAT scan) is a technique to obtain high definition images to diagnose a variety of medical problems.  It uses a small dose of radiation and is a safe and fast procedure. An exam only takes a few minutes.

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Preparation:  You might be given X-ray contrast to drink before the test or receive IV contrast in your vein during the test.

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Nuclear Medicine

These types of exams use a small dose of radiation to image your body.  We often use these exams to evaluate how certain organs are functioning or in cancer imaging to look for spread of disease.   Preparation depends on the type of exam.

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Ultrasound uses sound waves to image the body.  It does not use radiation. It is often used to image the breast, kidneys, gallbladder, female pelvis and other organs.  We commonly use it to evaluate pregnancies.   Doppler ultrasound is used to image arteries and veins in the body for blockages and blood clots.

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Bone Imaging

Fluoride PET is a new technique we use to look for the spread of cancer to the bones.  Like a traditional nuclear medicine bone scan, a small dose of a isotope is injected through an IV and then the technologist obtains images of the body.   The images are sent to a computer work statio,n and the radiologist evaluates the images for any tumor, like prostate or breast cancer, that might be in the bones.


Fluoroscopy is an X-ray that the radiologist can turn on and off during a procedure.  It takes real-time and motion pictures.  It is often used in conjunction with barium contrast which the patient drinks during an exam or barium enema for a colon exam.  Fluoroscopy is often used to guide procedures such as joint injections.   Our fluoroscopy machines are modern and use only small doses of radiation.

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X-ray is the oldest and still most common way to image the body.  X-rays are fast and noninvasive.  Modern X-ray machines use much less radiation than in the past and are considered very safe.    Chest and abdomen and bones and joints are the most commonly imaged body parts.   Real-time X-ray called fluoroscopy is used with barium for upper GI exams and for barium enemas of the colon and well as guidance for a variety of other procedures.

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Radiation Concerns

Some types of exams use a small amount of ionizing radiation to make images. MRI and ultrasound do not use any radiation. As board certified radiologists, we always use the lowest possible dose of radiation, and we are constantly working with our facilities and equipment providers to ensure the safest imaging.

We support the nationwide campaign for the ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ (ALARA) concept which urges providers to use the minimum level of radiation needed in imaging exams to achieve the necessary results.

To read more about radiation safety and the possible doses from an exam, click here.

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