Advanced Diagnostic Imaging

Written on June 26, 2013 by Tonya C. Tromblee, DVM, MS, DACVR Hospital: Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Advanced diagnostic imaging is one of the cornerstones of superior veterinary care. This state-of –the-art technology yields higher quality images to accurately diagnose pets with many types of disease or injuries. This information is used to formulate specific treatment plans and may eliminate the need for invasive procedures.

The advanced imaging capabilities at Mass Vet include an 8-slice CT scanner, a 1.5T MRI and fluoroscopy. Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital and Boston West are also equipped with CT scanners. All of our hospitals are equipped with digital radiography and ultrasound equipment.

Normal examination of the lungs with thoracic CT

Normal examination of the lungs with thoracic CT

Computed Tomography (CT):

Using a CT scanner, high resolution images of the body can be acquired in seconds, resulting in 3-D images of complex anatomy such as the lungs, nasal cavities and joints. Rapid image acquisition allows us to perform many studies under sedation (instead of anesthesia) which improves patient safety, particularly in pets with traumatic injuries or severe pulmonary disease. We can now perform angiographic studies to diagnose vascular anomalies, such as portosystemic shunts which can be difficult to diagnose using other modalities. These high definition images can be displayed in different planes or in 3-D to selectively demonstrate complex fractures, vascular anomalies or tumors to assist in surgical planning, oncologic staging, and many other procedures.

MRI of a healthy canine spine.

MRI of a healthy canine spine.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a mainstay in veterinary medicine because of its superior soft tissue resolution. It is essential for quickly diagnosing lesions in the brain and spinal cord. High-field MRI best differentiates types disease in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and facilitates appropriate treatment in these critically ill patients. MRI is also very sensitive for detection of muscular and joint injuries and is quite useful for evaluating patients with chronic or unexplained pain or lameness which cannot be explained by other modalities.

The IVG network of hospitals is committed to offering the most advanced options for healthcare possible. Advanced diagnostic imaging makes it possible for us to detect disease with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.

Other interesting articles on the subject:

Diagnosing Sea Turtles

Endangered sea turtle gets CT scan for pneumonia

New Scientist TV: X-ray video reveals how dogs move

Thoracic CT: More than Just a Pretty Picture

Types of Imaging and Therapy – American College of Veterinary Radiology


24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760


Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110


Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801


Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801


General Practice, Emergency & Specialty

Bulger Veterinary Hospital

Lawrence, MA 01843
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