Non-invasive Imaging Technique to Evaluate Blood and Blood Vessel Health
Loyola Medicine offers a multidisciplinary team of internationally recognized radiologists and vascular specialists performing state-of-the-art diagnostic vascular imaging. Loyola’s expertise in high-resolution imaging, including angiography and ultrasound, allows our world-class team of imaging specialists to see details and detect complications that might otherwise go undiagnosed. We provide imaging and consultation for the most severe vascular cases. including peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and renal artery stenosis.
Loyola’s skilled vascular imaging team offers many non-invasive diagnostic techniques for evaluating the movement of blood and the health of the blood vessels. Our state-of-the-art equipment provides superior images with less radiation exposure for our patients, facilitating quicker and more effective image acquisition.
Our expert radiologists are recognized nationally and internationally for clinical excellence, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods and skilled use of the latest technology. Our experienced technologists provide testing in a caring and compassionate environment where we want you to feel comfortable asking any questions you may have about your test or procedure.
Why Choose Loyola for Vascular Imaging?
As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, comprehensive care to patients and trains future leaders in advanced vascular imaging technology. Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. Your entire Loyola healthcare team has one goal: restoring you to better health.
Loyola is one of the few educational institutions in the country offering fellowships in cardiovascular imaging. All Loyola radiologists are fellowship-trained, and many of our clinicians are involved in leading-edge research, such as the study of MRIs of patients with arrhythmias and heart failure. Several of our faculty serve on the boards of leading scientific journals.
Our multidisciplinary vascular imaging team brings together vascular specialists and radiologists who are leaders in their fields. Loyola’s vascular imaging team is highly specialized and focused on advanced imaging studies of the vascular system, which allows for more precise imaging, more accurate diagnosis and more targeted treatments for our patients. This collaboration improves patient outcomes and sets Loyola apart from other centers.
Electronic images are available to your doctors instantly through an electronic medical record system, allowing us to deliver timely, effective care to our patients. At Loyola, we understand the importance of continuity of care and will provide seamless communication with your doctor through our secure medical information portal, LoyolaConnect. You can also access results from your lab tests and evaluations through myLoyola.
Vascular Imaging Tests Available at Loyola
Loyola’s expert vascular imaging team knows that early detection is the key to treating vascular conditions successfully. We educate patients on the importance of reducing risk factors for heart and vascular diseases and are experienced in using a variety of tools to detect, diagnose and treat a wide range of vascular diseases and conditions.
Loyola’s specialists offer non-invasive vascular imaging studies whenever possible; these tests are safe, easier on the patient and effective in the diagnosis of a variety of vascular conditions. Our dedicated team will deliver the highest quality of care, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
We offer advanced vascular imaging technology, including:
- Abdominal ultrasound — This painless, non-invasive imaging study may be recommended for patients experiencing symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, dizziness and nausea. An abdominal ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed images of your abdominal aorta and can aid your doctor in the diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
- Angiography — By injecting a contrast dye into your blood vessels, this test allows your doctor to view blood flow through your arteries in real time. Your doctor is able to trace the flow of the contrast material using X-ray imaging, MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) or CTA (computed tomography angiography).
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI) — This is a common test that evaluates blood pressure and blood flow; it is commonly used to diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD). Your technician will use a blood pressure cuff and an ultrasound device to compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm. Your doctor may also take readings before and after exercising. Learn more about ankle-brachial index.
- Captopril renal scan — This test is used to detect renal artery stenosis in patients with high blood pressure.
- Carotid duplex ultrasound — This painless, non-invasive imaging study may be recommended for patients experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, loss of memory, stroke or loss of muscle control. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to show how well blood is flowing through the carotid arteries, which supply blood directly to the brain. Carotid ultrasound allows your doctor to see blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can indicate an increased risk of stroke.
- Catheter angiogram — Catheter angiography is a minimally invasive procedure that involves guiding a catheter through an artery in the groin to the affected area and injecting contrast dye. The contrast medium highlights the area of interest, which shows clearly on the X-ray. Catheter angiography provides high-quality images and is often used to diagnose renal artery stenosis.
- CTA (computed tomography angiography) — CTA scans use X-ray imaging and contrast dye to see the structure of the arteries. CTA scans are less invasive and take less time than catheter angiograms.
- CT scan (computed tomography) — A CT scan combines a series of cross-sectional X-rays to allows your doctor to see your bones, blood vessels or soft tissues, diagnose disease or injury and create an effective treatment plan. This imaging study may be used to obtain images of your aorta and may aid in the diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Learn more about CT scans.
- Doppler ultrasound — This test is used to measure blood flow and identify blocked or narrowed arteries through the use of high-frequency sound waves. Doppler ultrasound may be used to evaluate the body’s major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs, neck and brain. It can aid in the diagnosis of blood clots, valve dysfunction, congenital heart disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and aneurysms.
- Duplex ultrasound — Duplex ultrasound combines traditional ultrasound with Doppler ultrasonography. This imaging study can show how blood moves through your arteries and veins. This procedure is performed to evaluate symptoms including leg pain and swelling, excessive varicose veins, shortness of breath or suspected blood clots in your legs or lungs.
- Lymphoscintigraphy — This nuclear imaging test is used to identify the sentinel lymph node, or the first node to receive the lymph drainage from a tumor. It can also be used to plan a biopsy or surgery that will help assess the stage of cancer and create a treatment plan, as well as identify points of blockage in the lymphatic system.
- MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) — This test uses radio waves and magnets to produce detailed pictures of the body’s internal organs and soft tissues without using X-rays. Contrast dye may be used to better see the structure of the arteries. In addition to providing high-quality images non-invasively, MRA can provide a functional assessment of blood flow and organ function.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) — This technique uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed images of your organs, tissues and skeletal system. MRI images may be used to determine if a patient has an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Learn more about MRIs.
- Venogram — A venogram uses X-ray technology and contrast dye to show how blood flows through the veins. A venogram is commonly used to detect blood clots within the veins, assess varicose veins before surgery, locate a vein in good condition to use for a bypass procedure or dialysis access, help a surgeon place a stent or guide treatment of diseased veins.
State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Nuclear Cardiac Imaging for Heart Patients
Loyola’s radiology team is skilled in nuclear cardiac imaging for diseases and conditions of the heart. Nuclear imaging is safe, non-invasive and provides clear images for accurate, precise diagnosis. This technology can aid your cardiologist in identifying coronary artery disease, detecting prior heart attacks and assessing resulting damage to the heart muscle. Nuclear imaging can also be used to evaluate a patient’s risk for future heart attacks.
This imaging tool allows cardiologists to plan timely and effective treatment including medication, angioplasty or bypass surgery. Learn more about nuclear cardiac imaging at Loyola.
Advanced Research to Improve Vascular Imaging Techniques
As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future vascular imaging treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Our current studies include:
- Breast imaging and intervention
- Helical CT
- MRIs of patients with arrhythmias and heart failure
- Ultrasound imaging
- Vascular and neurovascular intervention
Several of our faculty also serve on the boards of leading scientific journals. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.