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The Horace E. and Elizabeth F. Alphin Radiology Center provides diagnostic imaging services for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for all species of animals. Diagnostic imaging enables radiologists to visualize the internal organs and skeletal system using the following noninvasive techniques:
The VMRCVM Veterinary Teaching Hospital offers state-of-the-art outpatient diagnostic imaging services for private practice veterinarians. Available procedures include ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Learn more
Gregory B. Daniel, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVR
Martha M. Larson, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVR
Dana A. Neelis, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVR
Ann Bettencourt, DVM, Radiology Resident
Jessica Stahle, VMD, Radiology Resident
Luis Gonzalez, DVM, Radiology Intern
Carolyn Sink, MS, Medical Technologist
Susie Ayers, RT, Radiology Technologist
Valerie Ishman, RT, Radiology Technologist
Computed Tomography (CT) provides high-resolution cross-sectional anatomical images. Patients are placed on the CT table while under anesthesia. The table moves through a circular opening in the CT scanner called the gantry, while an x-ray tube emits x-rays as it spins 360 degrees inside the gantry. A detector array measures the amount of x-rays that pass through the anatomic part and cross-sectional images are generated from the data.
Computed Tomography is used for diagnosing abnormalities of the brain, nasal passages, musculo-skeletal system, spine, abdomen, lung, and mediastinum.
The Computed Tomography service consists of a Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice CT scanner that is linked to an image analysis workstation, laser imager and an off-site storage server. The image analysis workstation is used to create 2D, 3D, and multiplanar reformatted images that help the radiologists, clinicians, and clients have a better understanding of the extent of the patient's disease. This is especially important for treatment planning when the disease occurs in an area with complex anatomy. The CT scanner acquires high detail slices very rapidly. The average scanning time per anatomic region is only 10-20 seconds, therefore most patients can be examined under sedation rather than general anesthesia.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to diagnose diseases and injury of soft tissue. It is the most sensitive test for brain and spinal cord diseases and injuries since it can show even the most subtle abnormalities. When placed in the MRI unit, the atoms comprising soft tissue align with the magnetic field. The radio waves pulsed into the field then alter the atoms causing signals to be released and transmitted to a computer. The signals will increase in abnormal tissue and will show up as either very white or very dark areas in the computer image.
MRI is most commonly used for diagnosing abnormalities of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.
The MRI service consists of a Universal Medical Systems VetMR scanner that is linked to the hospital's picture archiving and retrieval system (PACS).
Small animal patients requiring such special procedures as angiography, venography, or cardiac fluoroscopy are put under general anesthesia and their studies are done on the digital fluoroscopic unit. Digital images are acquired at a rate of 1-8 frames per second and are printed on laser film. Special features for vascular studies include subtraction, road mapping, and edge enhancement. This fluoroscopic unit is also used for myelography, contrast GI tract studies, and small animal general diagnostic imaging.
Nuclear medicine service offers bone, renal GFR, thyroid, liver/spleen, hepatobiliary, lung, brain, and portal scans for small animal patients. Bone scans are the primary nuclear medicine scan requested for large animal patients. The gamma camera is mounted on a stacker crane assembly to allow easy movement for both small and large animal patient scanning positions.
The Large Animal radiographic room has two x-ray tubes, one free floating and one attached to a chest bucky with automatic exposure control. Radiographs of the head, neck, spine, thorax, pelvis, and extremities are easily attainable. Both tubes will descend to the floor to allow standing radiographs of the lower extremity to be taken.
A Min-X-ray portable radiographic unit is used to radiograph equine feet to tarsus in the radiographic room and in the barns. A large animal radiographic table is used for patients under general anesthesia.
The Radiology Center has two small animal radiographic rooms with a Siemens Multix Pro P electronic tomography unit and a digital fluoroscopy unit. The Siemens Multix Prop P features a high-low table, allowing large dogs to be moved to the radiographic table easily. This radiographic table of this unit has a 500 lb weight limit, which allows radiographic exams of the thorax and abdomen to be done on small foals, calves, and crias. The electronic tomography feature replaces the older linear technology.
Small animal patients requiring radiographs of body parts such as thorax or abdomen are generally radiographed without sedation. Radiographs of body parts such as spine, pelvis, or extremities require sedation; radiographs of the head require general anesthesia. Contrast procedures such as esophagrams, myelograms, and fluoroscopy of the trachea are done in the digital fluoroscopic room.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to provide a non-invasive image of the abdominal and thoracic organs. Sound waves sent into the body are reflected off of an internal tissue interface. Hundreds of these reflected signals provide an image of the organ, which can be visualized on the ultrasound machine monitor.
Abnormalities of these organs can be seen, and in some cases, biopsied using ultrasound guidance. The heart can also be imaged easily with ultrasound (echocardiography). Both congenital and acquired heart defects in animal patients can be diagnosed, allowing early surgical or medical treatment. Although the thorax and abdomen are imaged most frequently with ultrasound, other areas, such as the eyes, brain, and tendons, can also be examined. Because ultrasound examination is painless, most patients require no sedation or anesthesia, and tolerate the procedure, well.
The ultrasound service consists of an Acuson Sequoia 512 unit, which is used for both large and small animal patients.