Diagnostic Imaging Test Preparation

‚ÄčThank you for choosing Adventist Health Glendale (AHGL) for your diagnostic imaging needs. At AHGL, we are committed to providing you with access to the latest imaging technology, certified, friendly staff and a fast, convenient experience. To help you learn more about the type of test you will need, as well as what to do to prepare for your appointment, click the links below.

AHGL provides a full range of diagnostic imaging tests, each accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), including:

Please remember to bring the prescription form written by your doctor when arriving for your exam.

To schedule your diagnostic imaging needs, use our online appointment request or call (818) 409-8192. You must have a physician order or prescription to make an appointment.

Computed Tomography

Computed tomography, also known as CT or CAT scan, provides unprecedented detail of the inside of your body. The CT scanner is a large machine with an opening in the center (similar to a doughnut). Within the scanner, an X-ray imager moves around your body and uses high-powered computers to create images of bones and soft tissues in the body.

Special Instructions

  • f your exam includes an IV injection of a contrast dye or you are having a CT of the abdomen or pelvis, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for six hours before your exam. The dye improves the image quality by highlighting certain structures, such as arteries or the colon, making them more visible on the scan. In some cases the contrast dye is given orally. If given orally, you will be asked to drink a liquid and wait for 60 minutes so the contrast can reach the pelvis. Not all scans use a contrast dye. Its use depends on which parts of the body the scan is being used to analyze.
  • Some exams require patients to have blood tests done prior to the exam. Please ask if you will need blood work done when scheduling an appointment.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create images of bones, organs and soft tissues. There is no radiation involved. The MRI is a large machine shaped like a long tube with an opening in the center. AHGL’s MRI scanner provides the highest magnetic field strength available today (3-Tesla), providing sharper, better quality images to aid in the diagnosis of injury and illness in any area of the body.

AHGL’s caring MRI techs will provide you with headphones to listen to music and make you as comfortable as possible for your scan.

Because of the magnetic field, extra caution is needed for MRI patients with certain conditions. For patients with the following concerns, alternative imaging modalities may be recommended:

  • Aneurysm clips
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Metal plate, pin or other metal implants
  • Metal workers (past and present)
  • Pacemakers
  • Pregnancy
  • Previous gunshot wound

Special Instructions

  • If your exam requires an IV injection of a contrast dye, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for six hours before your exam.
  • Some exams require patients to have blood tests done prior to the test. Please ask if you will need blood work done when scheduling an appointment.
  • If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, ask your doctor to prescribe a relaxant or pain medication.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is safe and painless and uses sound waves to see inside your body. As a controlled sound wave bounces against objects, its echoing waves can be used to identify an object.

Special Instructions

  • If your ultrasound involves the abdomen (including the renal artery), you will be asked not to eat or drink for six hours before your exam.
  • If your exam involves the pelvis (including bladder and OB) please drink 32 oz. of water one hour before your appointment. The test cannot be completed until your bladder is completely full.
  • Paracentesis, thoracentesis and some biopsies will require blood tests.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of a naturally occurring radioactive material called isotope. The isotope is usually introduced into the body by injection but may also be swallowed or inhaled. A special camera detects the isotope and takes images at regular intervals as the substance travels through the body.

Special Instructions

Most nuclear medicine studies do not require special instructions, Exceptions include:

  • Nuclear medical gastric emptying study, hepatobiliary scan or myocardial perfusion scan - Require not eating or drinking for six hours prior to exam.
  • Nuclear medical thyroid scan - Requires being off any thyroid medications, birth control pills, seafood and foods or supplements containing iodide (a type of salt) for 2-4 weeks. It also requires that you have had no previous IV radiography contrast in the past three months.

X-ray and Fluoroscopy

Diagnostic digital x-ray and fluoroscopy work by sending a brief beam of low-energy radiation through the body and onto the detector. The resulting image is based on how much radiation passes through the tissue. Little radiation passes through bone, so bones appear white on the image. Fluoroscopy utilizes the same principles as x-ray but gives a real-time x-ray picture or movie.

Special Instructions

X-ray tests do not require special instructions. Instructions for fluoroscopy exams include:

  • For upper GI, esophagram and small bowel exams you will be asked not to eat or drink for six hours before your treatment.
  • For a barium enema, you will need to purchase Golytely®, a drug that will empty your colon and start prepping the day before your exam. Follow the instructions listed on the label.
  • For lumbar puncture and myelograms, you will be asked to stop using blood thinners for a few days and will require a blood test.

Breast Center Services

The Breast Center at GAMC provides technology and services to meet all your screening needs, including digital mammography, stereotactic biopsy and breast MRI/ultrasound.

Special Instructions

  • Digital mammography - Digital mammography uses x-ray to check for abnormalities in breast tissue. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your exam. Metallic particles in these substances could be visible on your mammogram and cause a false reading.
  • Stereotactic biopsy - Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts the day of your exam. Your physician may also advise you to stop taking aspirin or a blood thinner the day before your procedure.
  • Breast MRI/ultrasound - Follow the guidelines listed above for MRI and ultrasound.

DEXA Scan

A DEXA scan is a type of x-ray that measures bone mineral density, or BMD. DEXA stands for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and is used mainly to diagnose or evaluate the risk of osteoporosis.

Special Instructions

  • Depending on the area of your body being scanned, you may be able to remain fully clothed. However, you will need to remove any jewelry or clothing with metal fasteners, such as zippers, hooks or buckles. Please wear loose clothing.
  • In some cases, you may need to wear a gown.