Radiology 101: Common Imaging Modalities Explained

POSTED ON MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014 AT 1:30 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

Radiology has revolutionized the medical field, allowing doctors to get a glimpse inside the body in order to view detailed images of the structure and function of organs, vessels, bones, and tissues. This visualization that medical imaging provides often allows for doctors to better understand the underlying cause of the ailment that warranted your initial visit to the doctor. For example, radiology aids in surgery; not only to assist your doctor in determining if surgery is or is not necessary, but also to assist with surgical planning by giving valuable information such as the location of a mass, break or tear, details for determining implant specifications, or identifying cysts, to name just a few. Medical imaging usage can increase treatment options or lead to less invasive procedures. Early, accurate diagnosis can lead to better outcomes.

A radiologist is a highly educated medical doctor that specializes in the field of medical imaging. A radiologist completes more years of training than family practitioners, general surgeons, or OB/GYNs, for example. When your doctor orders a specific radiologic examination, he or she may consult with the radiologist prior to determining which modality and scan is best suited for the indicated diagnosis.  Your doctor's ability to speak directly with our radiologists is critical to the paramount level of care we offer patients at Park Avenue Radiologists. The work that we meticulously complete 'behind the scenes' which most patients are unaware of is what sets our private radiology practice apart from others in New York City.

We continually strive to be Manhattan's Premier Radiology Practice by following our practice goal to provide our patients with unparalleled imaging services. We understand that many patients come to us with genuine fears, apprehensions, and questions. Our staff is trained to be receptive, empathetic, and understanding to all concerns.

To contact our knowledgeable personnel call 212-888-1000 or email .

We invite all of our valued patients to join our health discussions on Twitter, Facebook, or to sign up for our email newsletter because we understand the power of information. Information is what fuels the field of radiology. Continually improving technology and techniques allow our radiologists to better understand and diagnose a variety of conditions. Medical imaging has the ability to provide information that may improve or save countless lives.

Learn more about some of the most utilized radiology modalities:

Open Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Open MRI)

At Park Avenue Radiologists, we offer patients an Open 1.5 Tesla MRI that combines the highest level of patient comfort with outstanding scanning power. This MRI technology allows our experts to offer patients an MRI experience that maximizes comfort, precision, and speed.

MRI in NYC produces extremely detailed images of body tissue, organs and bones without the need for radiation. Electromagnetic energy is released when exposing a patient to radio waves in a strong magnetic field which is then measured and analyzed by a computer producing two and three dimensional images.

MRI has become a very valuable diagnostic tool detecting everything from cancer, heart and vascular disease, strokes, and disorders of the joints and musculoskeletal system. Of equal significance is the ability for physicians to avoid unnecessary surgery and more invasive diagnostic procedures.

Computed Tomography (CT)

Park Avenue Radiologists, PC provides high quality, low dose CT scans with advanced applications for angiography and cardiac studies, virtual colonoscopy and other 3D applications. CT scans in New York City are used to study and diagnose conditions in virtually every part of the body.

Positron Emission Technology/ Computerized Tomography (PET/CT)

Park Avenue Radiologists, PC has installed the latest generation multi-detector PET/CT system with the highest resolution of PET configuration to allow for imaging virtually all organ systems, including cardiac PET/CT.

In one continuous full-body scan, PET captures images of minuscule changes in the body's metabolism caused by the growth of abnormal cells, while CT images simultaneously allow physicians to pinpoint the exact location, size and shape of the diseased tissue or tumor. Essentially, small lesions or tumors are detected with PET and then precisely located with CT.

Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear Imaging is a specialized area of radiology which images organs and body functions through the emission of radioactive materials given to the patient. Using nuclear medicine radiologists can evaluate kidney, cardiac and thyroid function and diagnose diseases (such as cancer), bone fracture, infection, arthritis and other tumors.


Ultrasound scanning, or sonography, is a radiologic modality that obtains images of internal body organs through the use of high frequency sound waves which are recorded and displayed as real time images on a monitor. Ultrasound is used to diagnose multiple body parts to identify palpable masses, fibroids, kidney stones, causes of uterine bleeding and other conditions. Carotid ultrasound may show plaques that narrow the carotid artery and limit the flow of blood to the brain.


Mammography plays a critical role in the early detection of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Radiology recommend annual screening mammography for women beginning at age 40.

Bone Densitometry (DEXA Scan)

DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is an x-ray procedure which is used to measure bone mineral density. Learn if a DEXA Scan in New York might be recommended for you at


X-rays use radiation to see through tissues, allowing your doctor to evaluate the bones, lungs and other tissues.

For more information on radiology tools, visit or


Additional Links:

DEXA Scan New York

Ultrasound New York City


MRI New York

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