Ultrasound Scans

Frozen Shoulder – What is it? How do you fix it?

The medical term is adhesive capsulitis, and if you’ve ever suffered with frozen shoulder, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. Your pain may even worsen at night, disrupting your sleep.

Frozen shoulder can go through three stages: Freezing where it gets stiffer over time, Frozen where your range of motion is quite limited and Thawing where your frozen shoulder starts regaining its range. The whole process can take a couple of years!

What’s actually happening is that the structures that make up your shouder are encased in a capsule of connective tissue that tightens around the shoulder. Risk factors include being over age 40, having reduced arm mobility due to other factors (broken arm, arthritis) and some chronic health conditions like diabetes.

What can you do about frozen shoulder? See your doctor who can confirm the diagnosis. Then try a conservative approach with over-the-counter pain medication and physical therapy. If those just aren’t helping, you can talk to your doctor about having an image-guided injection.

A special type of image-guided injection called hydrodilatation–where sterile water is injected into the shoulder joint and stretches the capsule–gives instant and permanent relief of the dreaded frozen shoulder. Sometimes hydrodilatation is the therapy of choice for active people who want to get back to their favourite activities as soon as possible.

Call us at 604-709-8522 or email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com  to learn more about hydrodilatation at our clinic or any of our other image-guided injections for pain relief.

  Filed under: Categories: injections, MRI Scans, MSK, News, Orthopedic, pain management, Sport Medicine, Sports Injuries, therapeutic injections, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: BC, frozen shoulder, hydrodilatation, MRI Vancouver, pain injection, shoulder pain, and Vancouver.
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Kidney disease: 1 in 10 have it, do you?

March is Kidney Health Month and BC Renal is helping raise awareness about this often silent disease.

Unless you’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease, you probably haven’t given much thought to your kidneys. You may not know that kidney health is closely related to heart health, and that your life depends on your kidneys. If your kidneys were to fail, you would need regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive.

In BC an estimated one in 10 people has some level of kidney disease, but most don’t even know it. Over 90 percent of people with early-stage kidney disease have no symptoms. Without diagnosis and treatment, this means their kidney health can gradually deteriorate over time until their kidneys no longer function properly. – See more at: http://www.bcrenalagency.ca/conferences-events/kidney-smart-campaign#2015

Take the self-assessment quiz at BC Renal and find out whether you should get your kidneys checked!  A simple blood test is the first step in assessing your kidney health – talk to your doctor about your risk factors or symptoms.

If diagnostic imaging is required, Canada Diagnostic can help with either an ultrasound or CT scan which can provide valuable information to your doctor to help tailor any medical treatments you might need.  Give us a call at 604-709-8522 or write to us at info@canadadiagnostic.com.

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: CT Vancouver, kidney disease, MRI Vancouver, Private MRI, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Vancouver.
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Primary Care Doctors say Imaging Improves Patient Care

Do we use too much medical imaging? Not according to primary care doctors in a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The study surveyed 500 primary care doctors in the U.S. – 88% of the physicians surveyed said that diagnostic imaging allows them to be more confident in their diagnoses and to make better clinical decisions. All that equals better patient care in their books.

In both the United States and Canada, medical imaging is viewed as a costly component of the healthcare system and ways to cut those costs are being explored. Practical guidelines have been developed both in Canada and the U.S. to help doctors choose the most appropriate type of imaging for their patients’ particular symptoms. The goal of these guidelines is to help eliminate unnecessary or redundant testing.

At Canada Diagnostic, we are able to offer MRI, CT and Ultrasound so that you can get the best test possible for your unique needs. Our radiologists are available to speak with your doctors anytime to help determine what the best test is. Each type of test provides a different type of information, so its important to choose the best one for diagnostic accuracy.

Find out how we can help – call us today at 604-709-8522 or email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Brain Scans, Brain Scans, Breast Cancer, Cardiovascular, Colon Cancer, CT Scans, Early Detection, hcPRP, Heart Disease, injections, Knee, Knee, Lung Cancer, MRI Scans, Multiple Sclerosis, Orthopedic, pain management, PRP, PRP, Sport Medicine, Sports Injuries, therapeutic injections, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: CT, CT scan, diagnostic imaging, MRI, MRI scan, Private MRI Vancouver, and ultrasound.
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Aortic Aneurysm Screening Urged for Older Male Smokers

The US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)have recommended that men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked should get an ultrasound to screen for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA).

Why is screening important? Most AAAs are “silent” until they rupture and AAA ruptures are often fatal.

The Mayo Clinic defines an AAA as “An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta, about the thickness of a garden hose, runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. Because the aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood, a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding”

Screening for an AAA is an easy procedure – its simply an ultrasound of your abdomen, concentrating on the aorta. Canada Diagnostic Centres has been providing AAA screening since 2007 and patients often combine this screening test with our other screening exams for early detection of disease.

What about men over age 65 who have never smoked? the Task Force asks doctors to consider their patients on a case-by-case basis. Patients may have other risk factors which may suggest screening is a good idea, such as a family history of AAA, a history of other vascular aneurysms, atherosclerosis, obesity and hypertension.

Where does that leave women? The evidence isn’t in yet, but this is an area that is being actively studied. Risk factors should definitely be considered.

Should you get a screening ultrasound for AAA? Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and whether this exam is right for you. We would be happy to give you more information about the exam and the other screening tests we provide at Canada Diagnostic. Its easy to contact us at 604-709-8522, or toll-free at 1-877-709-8522. Prefer email? Please contact us at info@canadadiagnostic.com

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: aneurysm, aorta, atherosclerosis, Private CT Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, private Ultrasound vancouver, and screening.
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What’s your risk of heart attack? Should you get tested?

CardioSmart, by the American College of Cardiology, has an excellent overview of a Coronary Artery Calcium Score test and some great advice as to whether you should get tested or not.

A coronary calcium scan checks for calcium buildup in the coronary arteries. Calcium in these arteries is a sign of heart disease. A high score on a calcium scan can mean that you have a higher chance of having a heart attack than someone with a low score.

The results of a coronary calcium scan may prompt you to make some lifestyle changes, such as exercising, eating better, and quitting smoking. But if you’re worried about heart disease, you can do these things even if you don’t have this test.

People who are at medium risk for heart disease will get the most benefit from this test. Medium risk means that you have a 10% to 20% chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years, based on your risk factors. You can be at medium risk and not have any symptoms of heart disease. Knowing your risk for a heart attack is a key part of your decision to get a scan. Take the online quiz here.

A calcium scan can give your doctor more information about your risk for heart disease. A high score might prompt your doctor to start or change treatment to help you avoid a heart attack.
You could get a high score from the test even if your arteries aren’t blocked. This could lead to other tests or treatments that you don’t need.

Not all blocked arteries have calcium. So you could get a low calcium score and still be at risk.

If a Calcium Score might be right for you, talk to your doctor. Canada Diagnostic has been providing Calcium Scores since 2002, and since 2007 we’ve been providing ultrasound scans of the carotid arteries which is another excellent screening exam for early signs of plaque build-up. You can learn more about our atherosclerosis screening exams on our website. Call us to find out more about both exams at 604-709-8522 or email us at info@canadadiagnostic.com.

  Filed under: Categories: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular, CT Scans, Early Detection, Heart Disease, Heart Scans, Screening Exams, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: atherosclerosis, Calcium Score, heart attack risk, heart disease, heart scan, Private CT Scan Vancouver, Private MRI Vancouver, and Screening Exams.
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Adding MRI or Ultrasound to Mammograms may help discover more cancers

Women with an increased risk of breast cancer AND dense breasts may benefit from adding ultrasounds or MRIs to their annual mammogram screenings.

Researchers from 21 institutions affiliated with the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) found that ultrasounds and MRIs found additional cancers not seen by mammography alone.  The study concluded that supplemental ultrasounds increased cancer detection by an average of 4.3 cancers per 1,000 women per year while MRI further increased cancer detection by an average of 14.7 cancers per 1,000 women per year.

Why doesn’t mammography find these cancers?  One of the lead researchers said that looking for a cancer in a woman with dense breasts via mammography is “like looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm”.  Dense breast tissue looks very white on mammography – and so does cancer.

So who exactly should get supplemental MRI and/or ultrasound?  Women who have dense breasts and more than one risk factor for breast cancer.  Risk factors include a having a known or suspected breast cancer gene mutation, prior radiation therapy to the chest area, prominent family history of breast cancer, prior atypical biopsy and extremely dense breasts.  Its best to review your history and risk factors with your doctor.

To learn more about whether a breast MRI or screening ultrasound is right for you, talk to your doctor or call us for more information any time at 604-709-8522.  Or visit us on the web.

  Filed under: Categories: Breast Cancer, Breast MRI, MRI Scans, and Ultrasound Scans. Tags: breast cancer, breast mri, Mammogram, and ultrasound.
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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?

Experience

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

Equipment

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.

Information

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.

 

Cost

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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Carotid ultrasound may help predict cardiac events

April 8, 2010 – Performing ultrasound studies of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) provides long-term prognostic value for adverse cardiac events, giving doctors important clues about who is at risk for a heart attack.

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston examined the carotid arteries of 13,145 patients and found that about 23% of patients would be reclassified into a different risk group by adding information obtained from ultrasound assessment of CIMT to traditional risk factors used for predicting future cardiac events. Risk prediction using this approach was more accurate, and it could help better define which patients should be screened with CIMT ultrasound.

“Noninvasive ultrasound can give us a more complete snapshot of our patients’ risk, so we can do a better job determining if they’ll have a heart attack,” added study co-author Dr. Christie Ballantyne.

 

Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Presence or Absence of Plaque Improves Prediction of Coronary Heart Disease Risk

The ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) Study

J Am Coll Cardiol, 2010; 55:1600-1607, doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2009.11.075

Give us a call to find out more about CIMT testing at Canada Diagnostic:  1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522.

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular and Ultrasound Scans.
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CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE UPDATE

Did you know?  Risk factors such as high cholesterol, overweight etc do not tell you whether you have any biological evidence of early atherosclerosis.  Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring (CACS) and Carotid Intima-media thickness (CIMT) are two screening tests that can accurately measure actual changes within your body that indicate early atherosclerosis.

Give us a call to find out more about CACS and CIMT testing at Canada Diagnostic:  1-877-709-8522 or 604-709-8522

  Filed under: Categories: Cardiovascular, CT Scans, and Ultrasound Scans.
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