Mammogram – What does my callback letter mean?

So, you just received a callback letter from your screening mammogram. This is NOT the time to panic. There are many factors that could influence a radiologist’s decision to call a patient back for additional imaging. If you asked me what exams in radiology seemed the most artful, relying on skill, talent, and utilizing clinical […]

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Gadolinium Deposition Disease – What is it and do I need contrast for my MRI?

Gadolinium is the chemical element with symbol Gd and atomic number 64. It is a special heavy metal with a structure making it strongly paramagnetic. Paramagnetism is an intrinsic property of certain materials which causes the element to become temporarily magnetized when placed in an external magnetic field (an MRI). It is this unique property that makes gadolinium an ideal […]

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How to decrease or eliminate radiation exposure in medical imaging

As a radiologist we have a guiding principle that is almost a mantra, an amendment to the Hippocratic oath, ALARA. Radiologists are trained to keep radiation exposure As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). To achieve ALARA a radiologist must always be cognizant of time, distance, and shielding. The goal being to minimize exposure time, maximize […]

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+PPD – what does that really mean and should I be freaking out?

Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne bacteria spread by coughing making it a public health threat… A + PPD test result could be an indicator of latent or active TB infection… The grand takeaway is that if you have a + PPD it is highly unlikely that you have active contagious TB, even if you are coughing.

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My Back Hurts! Do I need X-rays or an MRI?

We all get pain in our back if we are fortunate to live long enough. So when should you get it evaluated by your healthcare provider. Should they be ordering X-rays or an MRI of your back? Most of the time, the answer is no.

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Radiology is like Farming: You need the right tool for the job.

Okay maybe that’s a stretch, but it will make for a good analogy. One thing my father taught me and now I teach my boys is to choose the right tool for the job. You don’t dig a hole with a rake and you can’t cut trees with a broom. To most people those things […]

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