Types of Diagnostic Imaging
When your doctor orders a diagnostic imaging test, you might be wondering about the different types of diagnostic imaging or what an MRI or CT scan will tell you. Maybe you want to know what an ultrasound or PET scan does.
At UnityPoint Health – Trinity, we want you to understand the purpose of your test and how it works. Our diagnostic imaging services are certified by the American College of Radiologists (ACR). You can feel confident that your results are accurate, high-quality and understandable.
Why Choose Trinity for Your Diagnostic Imaging Test?
We make testing comfortable and convenient for you, with four diagnostic imaging locations in the Quad Cities and Muscatine area. We use the latest equipment to deliver precise results.
You'll receive quality-certified diagnostic imaging, from routine screening to sophisticated testing. Your doctor can see your results in 24 hours or less.
What Types of Diagnostic Imaging Does Trinity Offer?
Your routine and specialized testing needs are covered at Trinity. Our diagnostic imaging includes:
Mammography and breast health
Our Breast Center offers a comforting and personal environment for your routine mammogram and complex breast health screening needs. We have special monitoring programs for people at high risk for breast cancer. Learn more about Trinity Breast Center.
Bone densitometry (bone scan or DEXA)
Doctors may recommend bone densitometry if they think your bones are losing too much calcium as you age. A bone scan can help your doctor decide if you need medicine to strengthen your bones.
To measure your bone density, a bone scan uses a low-dose X-ray to check levels of calcium and other minerals in your bones. For the scan, you'll lie on a padded table with the scanner above you. This test doesn't cause discomfort.
CT scan (computed tomography)
Your doctor may request our certified CT scan to help rule out or diagnose problems like disease, injuries and cancer.
CT scanning uses special X-ray equipment and a computer to create many pictures of the inside of your body. The pictures are in a cross-section, which gives the radiologist and your doctor more detail than an X-ray.
Before the scan, you may drink a small amount of test liquid (contrast medium). For the test, you lie on a table that moves through our circular CT scanner. It's like sliding through the center of a donut. You lie still and hold your breath at times. The scan takes a few minutes and doesn't cause discomfort.
Low-dose lung screening
Your doctor will review your health history and let you know if you need low-dose lung screening. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends screening based on age and smoking history.
Trinity provides a low-dose lung screening CT (computed tomography), also called LDCT. It uses a low dose of radiation and is the only test the CDC recommends for lung cancer screening.
You'll lie on a table, and we'll move you through a donut-shaped scanner. The test takes a few minutes and does not cause discomfort.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Your doctor may order an MRI if they need to see more detail than an X-ray or CT scan provides. An MRI scan can help your doctor make decisions about many types of injury and illness.
For an MRI test, you'll lie in the MRI room on a table. We'll slide the table into the MRI scanner, which looks like a long tube. You'll have to hold still during this test.
You can get more information about how an MRI works and make your appointment in:
Nuclear medicine (including PET scans)
Nuclear medicine uses a small amount of radioactive material to highlight a part of your body. When you come in for your appointment, we'll explain our certified technology and the testing process.
Depending on your test, there are different ways to prepare. You will lie under a scanner or sit facing a scanner. It isn't painful.
Nuclear medicine can diagnose or treat many conditions inside your body. You might need nuclear medicine for conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Stomach or intestinal conditions
- Hormonal (endocrine) problems
- Brain and spine (neurological) conditions
Ultrasound (regular and vascular)
An ultrasound is a common procedure. Your doctor may order:
- Standard ultrasound, which works like the sonar used by fishermen. It sends sound waves into your body. The waves bounce back like an echo and create a picture.
- Vascular ultrasound, which is more like a radar gun. It measures movement like the speed of your blood flow.
Ultrasound is noninvasive and doesn't use radiation. You'll lie on an exam table. The radiologist will put a warm gel on the part of your body that is being examined. They move a transducer across your skin to create the images.
Your doctor might order an ultrasound to:
- Find reasons for discomfort or swelling in the body
- Look at a baby when a woman is pregnant
- Check internal organs for infection
- Look at babies' hips and brain
- Find heart conditions or issues caused by a heart attack
- Show doctors where to take tissue for a biopsy
An X-ray uses radiation, like light or radio waves. As rays pass through your body, they create a picture on a special recording plate.
You might stand up or lie down for your X-ray. You won't feel discomfort, but you will need to be still. Sometimes the radiologist will ask you to drink or get a shot of barium or iodine.
Doctors can use X-rays to look inside your body for many things, including:
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Abdominal issues
- Lung problems
- Swallowed objects
Trinity's Diagnostic Imaging Locations in the Quad Cities
You can find us at convenient locations across the Quad Cities and Muscatine. Select a location and get Trinity directions and maps or connect with Metro MRI:
To schedule your diagnostic imaging appointment, call the location most convenient to you. If you're having an MRI in Moline, Rock Island or Bettendorf, contact Metro MRI, our partner in providing MRI services.
500 John Deere Rd.
Moline, IL 61265
2701 17th St.
Rock Island, IL 61201
4500 Utica Ridge Rd.
Bettendorf, IA 52722
1518 Mulberry Ave.
Muscatine, IA 52761
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