The History and Indications for PET/CT Scans, MRIs and X-Rays

Radiology consultant in Ohio

Here at Specialty Teleradiology, we’re proud to have a team of medical professionals who can deliver teleradiology diagnostic services with results that you can trust. Our company’s expertise lies within a variety of subspecialties, which include the following:

In each of these subspecialties, we can offer tangible results to your clinic or private practice in the form of accurate, unequivocal PET/CT, MRI and X-ray interpretations. Each modality has significant features that makes it useful for specific indications.

In this blog post, we’ll cover each of these teleradiology services with an in-depth look by diving into their key differences, such as their varying applications, the history behind their creation, and their main benefits for a patient.

1. PET/CT Scans

One of the reports our expert radiologists can provide to your practice or physician group are for your Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography, or PET/CT, scans. When you utilize our services for these types of readings, you can count on interpretations that are accurate and unequivocal. This is important to guide referring physicians in the best care for their patients. We offer these services in the following sectors:

Applications for PET/CT Scans

Given the continually-developing technology that can come with these scans, PET/CT interpretations have the potential to detect various diseases in their early stages, as well as document how a patient’s body has responded to treatments.

One example of this detection and documentation is PET/CT readings to help determine the health of a cancer patient. PET/CT interpretations can play a part in this by:

  • Guidance for diagnosis of possible cancer
  • Staging of newly diagnosed cancer
  • Restaging cancer status by assessing the effectiveness of a treatment plan, such as chemotherapy

PET/CT for neurologic indications such as Alzheimer’s is also an evolving technology.  Our radiologists are specifically trained with Amyvid scans. Amyvid is indicated for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of the brain to estimate beta-amyloid neuritic plaque density in adult patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other causes of cognitive decline.

The History Behind PET/CT Scans

The PET scanner was first created in the 1960s and was noted as one of the first non-invasive instruments used to record neurological patterns and study brain functions.

Meanwhile, CT scanners weren’t introduced until the 1970s, but instead of using small radioactive doses like a PET scanner does, CT machines used X-rays and computers to produce cross-sectioned images of a patient’s body.

The idea to combine these two imaging scanners into one emerged in the 1990s, after doctors grew frustrated after having to take both scans of a patient separately and try to combine their readings while performing such procedures as locating a tumor.

This combination was also seen as very beneficial to radiologists given that PET scans are best for documenting metabolic or biochemical activity in the body, while CT scans are ideal for anatomical imaging. Combining the two not only saves time for the radiologist and patient, but it provides more thorough readings with a higher accuracy rate.

2. MRIs

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, interpretations are another teleradiology service offered by the Specialty Teleradiology team. These interpretations are designed with healthcare providers in mind, as our readings can help free up time, resources, and money within your facilities.

Given our team of highly-trained medical professionals, our MRI-related teleradiology diagnostic services can be utilized for reporting cases that are more complex or time-consuming, while your company can still perform routine imaging interpretations in-house.

Applications for MRI Scans

Since MRIs are able to collect images without the use of X-rays, and instead use magnets/radio waves, the images produced with these types of scanners have the capability to be very clear and concise.

These machines are commonly used by radiologists to diagnose conditions within the brain, spine, and musculoskeletal system. Body MRI is commonly used to detect conditions in the abdomen or pelvis.

The History Behind MRIs

MRIs were first developed as tools to study diseases in the 1970s by inventor Raymond Damadian, who proved that certain tissues within cells differed when they appeared in tumors vs. when they did not.

Since the first MRI scanner was developed in 1977, these valuable pieces of equipment have continued to grow into what they are today, with various inventions and technology making the machines quicker and more patient-friendly.

3. X-Rays

Another type of teleradiology diagnostic service you can count on from the Specialty Teleradiology team is in reading X-rays. Medical professionals from urgent care centers, clinics, private practices and more can outsource these types of interpretation tasks to our team of teleradiologists.

The X-ray specialists we have on our team are board certified and licensed in your state to perform readings on your plain film X-rays. Additionally, we’ll work with your practice to provide you with a fast turnaround time and follow up with you on our reports. As another part of our teleradiology services, we’ll make sure your practice is promptly notified should we find any unexpected or urgent discoveries within our readings.

Applications for X-Rays

X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation that are most commonly used for recording images of bones. They can be used to check for breaks and fractures in bones because bones are denser than other parts of the body. This density allows bones to appear pale on the X-ray image, compared to less dense parts of the body that appear black.

In addition to checking for broken or fractured bones, another common application for X-rays is a chest exam to visualize any abnormality in the lungs.

The History Behind X-Rays

The X-ray is notably the first imaging machine of its kind, with roots dating back to the late 1800s. The radiation was first discovered by accident by German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen, when he was working in his lab with cathode rays.

Since this invention, X-rays have been thoroughly researched and regulated and are now used by medical practices around the world. Advances in technology such as image intensifiers have allowed X-rays to become less hazardous and more convenient to use.

Have Any Questions About Our PET/CT, MRI or X-Ray Services? Reach Out to Us Today!

Comparing our various reporting services, it’s apparent that each has its place in the medical world as a potentially life-saving asset. If your practice is looking for assistance in reading and reporting these types of images, Specialty Teleradiology can help!

Simply get in touch with our team today to learn more about our teleradiology services. We look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa Drazil

About The Author

Lisa Drazil - VP / Administator

Lisa Drazil is Administrative Director for Specialty Teleradiology. Her medical career began as a Nuclear Medicine/PET technologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Lisa then went on to develop, staff, and manage various imaging centers across the country. Her medical background combined with her health administration experience provide a valuable insight into the needs of the diagnostic imaging practices that Specialty Teleradiology serves.