Types of Diagnostic Imaging

April 20, 2017 – 3 min read

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When doctors need to get a better look at what’s going on in a patient’s body, they will often order some type of medical diagnostic imaging. While there are different types of diagnostic imaging exams, the results are images, or pictures, that doctors can use to help them make accurate diagnoses and come up with treatment plans.

Although the thought of having any type of diagnostic tests performed can make many patients anxious, diagnostic imaging is typically non-invasive and painless.

There are several different types of diagnostic imaging tests. Each creates images based on different technology. A doctor may order one, or several of these tests, in order to help diagnose or rule out certain medical problems. Some of the most common types of diagnostic imaging tests are magnetic resonance imaging tests, or MRIs, as they are more commonly known, and Computed Tomography (CT) scans.


MRIs use radio waves and magnetic fields to produce three-dimensional pictures of your body, and they are a very common test to help doctors diagnose a variety of health conditions.

MRI technology can be used to produce images of joints, bones, hearts and blood vessels, the brain, and more. Unlike X-rays, MRIs do not use ionizing radiation. While this eliminates the slight risk that can come with tests that do use radiation, MRIs may not produce the best images in every circumstance. Doctors may order CT scans instead of X-rays. This is particularly true when imaging the brain to look for blood clots, tumors or other abnormalities, as those are often easier to see through CT scans.

CT Scans

A CT scan can be thought of as a type of X-ray that creates three-dimensional views of the inside of your body. As with more traditional X-rays, CT scans use ionizing radiation to create cross-sectional “slices” for your doctor to evaluate.

Depending on the body part or organ being evaluated, CT scans may use a contrast dye which is inserted intravenously. This can help make images more visible in certain circumstances.

CT scans can be used for every organ and structure in your body, however MRI may be preferred for some areas because it can produce clearer pictures.

Other Types of Diagnostic Imaging

While MRIs and CT scans are the most common types of diagnostic medical imaging tests, other tests that fall under this category include traditional X-rays and ultrasounds.

AHI Provides Diagnostic Imaging, Offering Convenience, Quality and Affordability

Whether your doctor has ordered an MRI, a CT-scan or both, you can count on American Health Imaging to provide the same, high-quality scans using the same type of equipment and highly trained personnel, as you could expect from an in-hospital radiology clinic.

The thing that sets AHI apart from hospital imaging centers is the fact that MRIs and CT scans are often significantly cheaper through AHI. We also offer the convenience that comes from being able to get in and out of our neighborhood centers quickly on the day of your diagnostic imaging test.

To learn more, and to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient centers in Alabama, Georgia, Florida or Texas, contact us online or call us at (855) MRI-CHOICE.