High quality diagnostic services provide our patients with a convenient and efficient way to receive treatments. Diagnostic testing encompasses a broad range of tests that are essential to the management of patient care, allowing our Physicians to detect abnormalities, make quicker diagnosis, monitor patients, and devise treatment options. Some of these services include: Magnetic Resonance imaging, X-rays, and videofluroscopy, Nerve Conduction Velocity(NCV), Electromyography(EMG), electroencephalogram (EEG), and Urine Drug Testing.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to take images of organs and structures inside the body. An MRI can detect problems that other types of machines cannot, and the MRI has become the preferred method for diagnosing potential problems in the body. At Premier NeuroSurgical Institute, an MRI can be performed with contrast or without. MRI machines come in different strengths or Teslas, and it is important to have a high strength closed field MRI, like the 1.5Tesla MRI at Premier, to capture the best images possible for proper diagnosis. The 1.5Tesla also allows for a faster scan time. We have the ability to scan soft tissues as well as vascular studies of the brain, head, neck, spine, and peripheral limbs.
There are many different types of MRIs and they do not all produce the same clarity in images. A closed MRI refers to a circular tube/donut/tunnel (often on both sides) that accommodates any body part, from head to toe, depending on the area of interest. An open MRI refers to an incomplete circle or donut magnet with open space and is designed for a claustrophobic patient. However, the image quality of a closed MRI is better because of the physics of the testing. A closed 1.5 Tesla magnet is known to be a better strength for medical imaging. 3Tesla and 7Tesla magnets are used for research purpose and are occasionally used in clinical practice in certain places. At Premier NeuroSurgical Institute, we are well equipped with a state of the art 1.5Telsa closed magnet that has an unparalleled image quality. This magnet is needed to make decisions for treatment of surgical, nonsurgical, and minimally invasive diagnoses.
An X-Ray is a form of diagnostic testing, and is a quick test that produces images of structures inside the body. An Xray is produced in shades of black and white. Digital x-ray machines emit very small amounts of radiation doses compared to outdated x-ray machines.
Video Fluoroscopy(VF) also called a dynamic study is an imaging technique used to obtain real time images of internal structures of the body. This type of imaging enables one to view body structures in different positions.
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
Nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is a test to see how fast electrical signals move through a nerve. This test is used to diagnose nerve damage or destruction. The test may sometimes be used to evaluate diseases of nerve or muscle, including myopathy, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, or myasthenia gravis. Patches called surface electrodes are placed on the skin over nerves at various locations. Each patch gives off a very mild electrical impulse, which stimulates the nerve.
The nerve’s resulting electrical activity is recorded by the other electrodes. The distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes are used to determine the speed of the nerve signals.
Electromyography (recording from needles placed into the muscles) is often done at the same time as this test.
Electromyography (EMG) is a test that checks the health of the muscles and the nerves that control the muscles. EMG is most often used when a person has symptoms of weakness, pain, or abnormal sensation. It can help tell the difference between muscle weakness caused by the injury of a nerve attached to a muscle, and weakness due to nervous system disorders, such as muscle diseases
The health care provider will insert a very thin needle electrode through the skin into the muscle. The electrode on the needle picks up the electrical activity given off by your muscles. This activity appears on a nearby monitor, and may be heard through a speaker. After placement of the electrodes, you may be asked to contract the muscle. For example, by bending your arm. The electrical activity seen on the monitor provides information about your muscle’s ability to respond when the nerves to your muscles are stimulated. A nerve conduction velocity test is almost always performed during the same visit as an EMG.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when you’re asleep. This activity shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.
An EEG is one of the main diagnostic tests for epilepsy. An EEG may also play a role in diagnosing other brain disorders.