MRI Scans

MRI shows benefits of Mediterranean diet on the brain

A study that appears in February 2012’s issue of Archives of Neurology suggests that eating a Mediterranean-style diet may offer protection against small-vessel disease.  Damage to small blood vessels can cause damage in the brain and other organs. 

The study included performing brain MRIs on the participants.  The researchers noted a correlation between the participants’ diets and the amount of white-matter hyperintesity (“WMH”) volumes in their brain.  WMH are markers for small-vessel damage and are associated with vascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.  The more closely a person followed a Mediterranean-style diet, the less WMH they had.

The study findings might also help explain recent studies that have linked consumption of a Mediterranean diet with lower incidence of neurological conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

What is the Mediterranean diet?  Think: olive oil, fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.  Try to limit the amount of red meat, saturated fats and refined grains you eat.  If its in a can, a box or a jar – don’t buy it!

While you can’t get an MRI of your brain to see how your diet is working, it might be appropriate to get one if you are experiencing some cognitive difficulties.  Talk to your doctor, and together you can come up with a game plan.  If your doctor thinks an MRI might be appropriate, give us a call at 1-877-709-8522. 


  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, CT Scans, and MRI Scans. Tags: brain, brain health, dementia, diet, and MRI.
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Pre-Op Breast MRI reduces repeat surgery

A Study presented by Yale School of Medicine Professor Liane Philpotts,  shows that patients with newly diagnosed breast cancers have fewer repeat surgeries when they have an MRI first.

The results were most dramatic in patients who have dense breast tissue (dense tissue is more challenging to evaluate on mammogram and ultrasound). 

When a lumpectomy is performed, if there are any cancerous cells remaining around the excision area, a second surgery is required to remove more tissue to ensure “clear margins”.  Breast MRI has been shown to show the size and shape of a cancerous lesion better than mammography or ultrasound, thus helping the surgeons be more accurate in the removal of the tumour and reducing the need for a second surgery.

Pre-op breast MRIs also show the extent of the disease better than mammography or ultrasound, and is often able to detect additional cancers in the same breast or other breast.  This information is very important in helping the patient and her medical team decide the best course of treatment.

Breast MRI is a useful tool for cancer staging and is not a substitute for screening mammography.  Patients who are breast cancer gene carriers and therefore are at high risker risk for developing breast cancer, may be candidates for MRI screening, but should also be screened annually with mammography.

For more information on Breast MRI at Canada Diagnostic Centres, click here, or call us at 1-877-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer, Breast MRI, and MRI Scans. Tags: breast cancer, breast cancer gene, breast cancers, breast mri, cancer staging, and dense breast tissue.
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MRI can change diagnosis and treatment plan for knee problems

Did you know that using MRI for knee disorders can often change the diagnosis and treatment plan?

With an accurate diagnosis, confirmed by MRI, its easier for doctors and their patients to choose the best course of action – patients will get the more effective treatment.

A small study done by the Cleveland Clinic and presented in November at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual international conference found that an MRI changed the primary diagnosis in 37% of the cases and altered patient care in 29% of the cases including whether to do surgery or not, and which type of surgery to do.

The patients who were studied were all referred for MRIs by orthopedic or sports medicine doctors, who are the most skilled at evaluating knee problems.  The study hypothesized that if the expert diagnosis changed, then diagnosis done by non-surgeons or non-sports med doctors would probably be effected more. 

Looking for the right place to have your knee checked out?  Our radiologists are all skilled musculoskeletal MRI interpreters and work closely with the sports medicine doctors and surgeons at Allan McGavin Sports Medicine at UBC.  Call us today for more information at 1-877-709-8522 or visit us online at

And don’t forget to check out our options for pain management!


  Filed under: Categories: Knee, Knee, Knee, MRI Scans, MSK, Orthopedic, and Sport Medicine. Tags: knee MRI and knee problems.
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MRI shows fish-filled diet helps lower Alzheimer’s risk

A study presented at last months Radiological Society of North America’s annual conference suggests that that eating baked or broiled fish weekly can reduce the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, done by University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre researchers, included MRI imaging of the brain’s grey matter volume over a 10 year period. The study established a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure, and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Grey matter volume is crucial to brain health; when it increases, brain health is maintained.  Decreases in grey-matter volume indicate that brain cells are shrinking. 

Scientists think that the omega-2 fatty acids in the fish are benefitting the brain.  Baked or broiled fish deliver more omega-3’s to the brain than does fried fish.  Sadly, fish & chips aren’t the way to improve brain health!

The scientists found that having fish as little as once per week can increase brain grey-matter volume.  The main message of the study is that the more baked or broiled fish you eat, the more grey-matter volume you will have as you age.  Having more grey-matter in the future, will lessen your risk for Alzheimer’s.

Visit our website to find out more about MRIs, CTs and Ultrasounds.

or call us at 604-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: Brain Scans, Brain Scans, and MRI Scans. Tags: Alzheimer's, baked & broiled fish, brain health, and MRI.
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Knee Injuries Rise Sharply in Kids

A presentation made in October 2011 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference showed how knee injuries in children and teens have increased at “an alarming rate”.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and meniscus tears in young people have each increased significantly over the past 10 years.  What is causing this increase in diagnosed injuries?  The most likely explanations are that many kids now play a single sport at a high level, year-round – increasing their chances for overuse and other injuries.

There is also increased awareness into injuries, increased use of MRI which can diagnose tears (xray cannot), and even earlier visits to an orthopedic specialist.

So, what is a parent or coach to do?  There is increased emphasis on injury prevention in junior sport including screening for athletes who may be more at risk for these types of injuries.  Athletes, parents and coaches should seek out injury prevention programs that can be added to the practice/training programs.

If you think your child has a knee or other injury, getting an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment will not only get them back playing sooner, but could prevent more long-term serious joint problems.  Contact us today to find out how we can help.  Canada Diagnostic Centres (BC) Ltd. 1-877-709-8522 / 604-709-8522 or

Stay Safe & Healthy!


  Filed under: Categories: Knee, Knee, Knee, MRI Scans, MSK, Orthopedic, and Sport Medicine. Tags: diagnostic MRI, injury prevention, knee, knee injuries, knee injuries in children and teenagers, and sport medicine.
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CCSVI – Different Approaches, Different Techniques

Yesterday, a symposium about the vascular theory of MS (aka CCSVI) was held in Brooklyn.  This is a pretty exciting development because it marks one of the first times the medical community–specifically interventional radiologists(IRs)–have come together to discuss CCSVI and its treatment.

In a nutshell, here’s what was concluded:  we are at the very early stages of our understanding of CCSVI–what it means, how to diagnose it and how to treat it.

Diagnostic radiologists, who read the MRI or Ultrasound images have remarked that diagnosing CCSVI is not a straightforward affair.  There are incredible subtleties that need to be understood and mastered for a diagnostician to conclude CCSVI is present. 

The IRs who have been treating CCSVI agree about the following:  treating CCSVI is not like anything they have been doing up to now.  It requires new skills, techniques and expertise.   The learning curve is steep. 

Where they disagree (but again, they are all “learning as they go”) is whether to balloon or stent, if they balloon, what size to use, and regardless of whether they balloon or stent, exactly where to do the repair.  Those are a lot of variables, and for patients being treated today, how will their IR’s choices affect their outcome? 

So where does this leave the MS community?  Every individual needs to make the choices that are right for them including whether to get imaged and treated.  Since the medical community who are currently working on CCSVI are still creating more questions than answers for themselves, we know that the right answers are going to take time and rigourous research.  An individual touched by MS might want to consider the pros and cons about acting now, or waiting a little while for more answers.

Here are a couple of terrific links:

The CCSVI Alliance is dedicated to educating patients with research-based information, providing tools for patients to advocate for themselves, and supporting medical professionals’ exploration of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).

And here are a list of questions to ask if you are considering getting tested or treated for CCSVI:

These are exciting times, and each day as we learn more, we are closer to figuring out where CCSVI fits into the picture and how best to deal with it.

  Filed under: Categories: MRI Scans and Multiple Sclerosis.
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What to look for in a Diagnostic Imaging Centre

We understand that you have choices when it comes to deciding where to go for your scan.  What should you consider when you are looking for an imaging centre?


Canada Diagnostic Centres opened the first private MRI in Canada in 1993.  Our Vancouver clinic has been open since 2000 and since that time we have scanned over 35,000 patients.  Our facility and our radiologists are well known in the medical community.

Medical Team

Radiologists are the specialists who interpret, MRIs, CTs and ultrasounds and provide your doctor with the results. 

Our clinic’s five radiologists are led by Dr. Bruce Forster, a Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Medicine at UBC and a practicing radiologist at UBC and VGH.  Dr. Forster is also head of the MRI fellowship program at UBC Hospital and Regional Head of MRI for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

 Our radiologists also bring a variety of sub-specialty skills to the clinic relating to musculoskeletal, neurologic and abdominal diagnostic imaging.  They use a team approach and are able to consult freely with each other in the event of challenging or difficult cases.  This depth and breadth of knowledge is a real benefit to our patients and their physicians.

Our entire team of radiologists actively participates in teaching of radiologists-in-training in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is engaged in cutting edge imaging research.

The Right Exam for the Right Reasons

There are many considerations as to which exam is most appropriate for each individual case, and even how to structure each exam.  For that reason, our radiologists review and protocol all exam requests before we call you to book a scan.  If a different exam than the one ordered by your doctor would be more appropriate for you, our radiologists will let you and your physician know.  That way, we maximize the likelihood that we will get the answers you need and minimize the likelihood that you will need an additional, different kind of exam down the road


Just like cars, advanced medical imaging equipment comes in different makes and models.  With MRI for example, there are many different configurations as to the size, shape and strength of machine. 

The strength of the magnets in an MR machine is measured in Tesla.  The most common strength machine is a 1.5Tesla and it is what you will find in hospitals and medical teaching facilities throughout Canada.  At our clinic, we operate a GE Signa 1.5T HDx(High Definition) MRI. 

CT scanners are described by the number of “slices” they have.  These are the number of simultaneous images the machine takes during one split-second rotation around the patient.  Our CT scanner is a 64-slice Aquilion 64-slice by Toshiba Medical.  64-slice scanners have made  high resolution visualization of the heart and coronary arteries possible.


When you call an imaging clinic, is the staff helpful and informative?  Are they able to answer all of your questions?  Are you comfortable with what they are telling you?  If you need more information, are they able to provide it for you?  At Canada Diagnostic Centres, our staff is happy to answer all of your questions or provide you with information or materials you may find helpful.  If you prefer online research, our website is an excellent source of information.



Wait times

Do you need your scan done as soon as possible or would you like it next Tuesday afternoon to better fit your schedule?   At Canada Diagnostic Centres, we will do our absolute best to schedule your scan for a time and date that fits with your needs.  We will also be happy to coordinate the timing of your scan with specialist appointments or treatment you have scheduled. 

In addition, your scan will be reviewed and reported quickly.  You doctor will receive a report within one working day of the exam—in many cases, your doctor will receive the report within a few hours of your scan.  If your doctor requires results immediately, our radiologist will be happy to call and give a verbal report right away.



Prices for different scans vary depending on the complexity of the scan being done and the type of machine it is being done on.  A complete fee schedule is available on our website.  If you have any questions about what an exam would cost, please give us a call.

Our promise is to provide our patients and their physicians with the best in patient-focused, medically-principled diagnostic imaging.

  Filed under: Categories: CT Scans, MRI Scans, and Ultrasound Scans.
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MRI and Ultrasound for CCSVI

April 7, 2010 – The MS world may be witnessing an historic breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of the disease with the connection that is now being made with venous problems and is being called Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI).  Every week, new information is coming out about:

  • what constitutes CCSVI
  • how CCSVI relates to MS
  • how to diagnose CCSVI
  • what to do about CCSVI.


The one thing that has become very clear is that it takes specialized equipment and specialized training for technologists and radiologists to accurately diagnose and evaluate CCSVI.  As of now, MRI and Ultrasound scanning techniques have not been standardized, so what is found on one scan, may not be found on another.  One of the first orders of business is to standardize diagnostic imaging techniques.

At Canada Diagnostic, we are following the developments very closely.  At this time, we are choosing not to provide any diagnostic tests for CCSVI.

The main reason that we are not providing this service is that we don’t feel we would be serving the patient population by charging them money to provide them with information that may or may not turn out to be accurate, given the state of flux that CCSVI imaging is in.

Additionally, we do not want to charge a fee for a test, results of which cannot be acted upon.  There is currently no place in Canada that is providing either balloon or stent venoplasty for MS.

While it is true that some people with MS are getting scans in Canada and then going overseas for treatment based on their scan results, the vast majority are staying home for the time being.  Whether one chooses to go overseas now, or wait for treatment to be available at home, you will be given another test (possibly another MRI or ultrasound and then Venography—the gold standard).  We can’t, in good conscience, charge you for a test that you will have to have done all over again.

In the meantime, we have chosen to support the comprehensive and exciting research that UBC is doing in this area.  We are confident that the research that they and others  throughout  the Canadian Network of MS Clinics are doing will yield really exciting news very soon.

  Filed under: Categories: MRI Scans, Multiple Sclerosis, and Ultrasound Scans.
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