Our Screening Services

Pueblo Radiology offers an array of screenings tests using mammography, ultrasound, and CT scanning. Our screening exams are performed so that we can detect the presence of many common forms of cancer and disease in their early stages, so that a patient and their physician can take the necessary actions for early intervention. As opposed to the “street corner” parking lot mobile operations that provide a similar service, we only work with a physician referral. We believe that screening imaging studies should be part of a physician-guided comprehensive well-person evaluation, therefore, we strongly urge you to seek the guidance of your physician. In this way, your testing can be tailored to your specific concern, and other important testing, like lab tests, can also be performed.
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heart

CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring

lungs

CT Lung Screening (Low Dose)

ultrasound

Screening Vascular Ultrasounds

CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Vascular disease is among the leading causes of death in the United States, yet is generally asymptomatic until a catastrophic event occurs, such as a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm rupture. Pueblo Radiology offers preventive vascular screening ultrasound to bring legitimacy and medical integrity to the “parking lot” screening exams commonly seen in many communities.

Pueblo Radiology’s vascular screening cover three important areas:

1. Carotid arteries (neck) – to access stroke risk

2. Aorta (abdomen) – to detect the presence of aortic aneurysm

3. Blood pressure assessment of the lower extremities to identify PAD (1) and risk of heart disease

Together, this three-part assessment can be an important element in determining risk of vascular disease in general, implying relative risk in areas that are more difficult to “see”, such as the heart (coronary arteries).

Individuals 55 years of age or older with any of the following cardiovascular risk factors may benefit from preventive screening for vascular disease:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • History of hypertension
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Known cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking

Noninvasive screening examinations have proven to be accurate in detecting vascular disease prior to active warning signs and before a major medical incident such as stroke or sudden death from aneurysm rupture. With the baby boomer population aging and Americans 60 years old expected to reach nearly 76 million by 2020, raising public awareness about vascular disease and screening becomes critical.

 

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

You belong to a high-risk group if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • You have high cholesterol levels
  • You have high triglyceride values
  • You smoke
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You are hereditarily at risk
  • You have diabetes

Or any of the factors in combination with a sedentary lifestyle. If one or more of the above points apply to you, contact your physician to find out more about how CT can help in the evaluation of your heart.

Cardiac Calcium Scoring: This examination evaluates the amount of calcium in your coronary arteries, which is a predictor of cardiac disease. A positive coronary calcium score result serves as a good indicator of the risk for certain types of heart attack. A negative calcium score result is a good indicator that coronary vessels are intact. The examination is performed in approximately 15 seconds with a relatively low radiation dose.
CT Coronary Angiography: This test is not offered in our office, but can be obtained at St Johns Regional Medical Center in Oxnard – this test needs to be done on a CT scanner having at least a 128 slice capability. This highly detailed examination is performed by injecting a contrast material into a vein in the patient’s arm, which then will enhance seeing the coronary vessels. This will make it possible to obtain a complete 3-D scan of the heart, “a “virtual trip through the heart”, without a catheter. The actual scan takes only 20 seconds, within an examination time of 30 minutes. The precise results of this examination will give the patient’s doctor information about the condition of the patient’s coronary vessels.

CT Lung Screening (Low Dose)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. 

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

You belong to a high-risk group if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • You have high cholesterol levels
  • You have high triglyceride values
  • You smoke
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You are hereditarily at risk
  • You have diabetes

Or any of the factors in combination with a sedentary lifestyle. If one or more of the above points apply to you, contact your physician to find out more about how CT can help in the evaluation of your heart.

A CT scan is performed, with a low radiation dose, in just 15 seconds. If the result is negative, clinically significant lung lesions/nodules can be excluded with very high probability. If positive, further diagnostic measures appropriate for the severity of the suspected disorder may be are required.

This is a screening technique that has been discussed in recent medical literature as an extremely sensitive method of detecting early and potentially curable lung cancers, while they are still very small nodules, i.e. less than 1 cm in size.

Once the patient is on the CT Scanner, the test should take no more than 15 minutes

This is not a painful test. There are no injections. It merely requires one to hold their breath for roughly 20 seconds.

A negative is never absolute, however, it is extremely accurate in the detection of small lung nodules, the earliest sign of lung cancer. A small cancer that may arise in the tracheal / bronchial tree may not be detected by this technique.
If the test is positive, it means you have one or more small lung nodules. But this does not mean you have lung cancer. The test is designed to detect small nodules in the lung. If you have a positive test (one or more nodules), a high resolution (more detailed) CT Scan will be performed. The purpose of this is to further characterize the lesion, to look for certain features that make it more suspicious for cancer, or more likely to be benign. In addition, depending on the number, size and characteristics of the nodules, some patients will go on to have a lung biopsy. This is usually under CT guidance with local anesthesia. A sample of the nodule is obtained through a needle. Some patients may go directly to surgery. There is a large sub-group of patients who will have a recommendation for a follow-up study to try to determine the growth of the nodule.

The cost of the study is $350.00 This is a significant reduction over the cost of a standard CT Scan on the chest.

At this point in time, most insurance companies will pay for this test, as long as you meet certain criteria. Meet with your physician to find out if you meet the criteria. A payment will be requested for this at the time of service. We will be happy to bill your insurance company so that you can be reimbursed (if applicable).

Screening Vascular Ultrasounds

Vascular disease is among the leading causes of death in the United States, yet is generally asymptomatic until a catastrophic event occurs, such as a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm rupture. Pueblo Radiology offers preventive vascular screening ultrasound to bring legitimacy and medical integrity to the “parking lot” screening exams commonly seen in many communities.

Pueblo Radiology’s vascular screening cover three important areas:

1. Carotid arteries (neck) – to access stroke risk

2. Aorta (abdomen) – to detect the presence of aortic aneurysm

3. Blood pressure assessment of the lower extremities to identify PAD (1) and risk of heart disease

Together, this three-part assessment can be an important element in determining risk of vascular disease in general, implying relative risk in areas that are more difficult to “see”, such as the heart (coronary arteries).

Individuals 55 years of age or older with any of the following cardiovascular risk factors may benefit from preventive screening for vascular disease:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • History of hypertension
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Known cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking

Noninvasive screening examinations have proven to be accurate in detecting vascular disease prior to active warning signs and before a major medical incident such as stroke or sudden death from aneurysm rupture. With the baby boomer population aging and Americans 60 years old expected to reach nearly 76 million by 2020, raising public awareness about vascular disease and screening becomes critical.

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The abdominal aorta is the main artery of the body. Vascular disease and potentially lethal aneurysms (abdominal aortic aneurysm = AAA) can occur without visible signs or symptoms. Overall, the probability of AAA in the general population is low, but this increases when certain risk factors are present. These include:
– Age, Male gender, White race, Smoking, Family History of aneurysms, History of other vascular aneurysms, Hypertension, Atherosclerotic diseases, Cerebrovascular disease, High cholesterol
• One-time ultrasound screening for AAA is recommended for all men at or older than 65 years. Screening men as early as 55 years is appropriate for those with a family history of AAA. • One-time ultrasound screening for AAA is recommended for all women at or older than 65 years with a family history of AAA or who have smoked. • Re-screening patients for AAA is not recommended if an initial ultrasound scan performed on patients 65 years of age or older demonstrates an aortic diameter of <2.6 cm

Vascular disease can block the carotid arteries to the brain and cause strokes. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States1. Each year, 137,000 people die annually from this disorder. A large proportion of strokes is caused by plaque in the carotid arteries. In 2010, it was estimated that Americans would pay about US$73.7 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability

Vascular disease can impair circulation to the legs, leading to reduced ability to walk and in some cases, leg amputation. Vascular disease in the legs is a major marker for heart disease.
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has peripheral arterial disease (PAD). It affects eight to 12 million people in the United States (3). Individuals with PAD suffer a five-fold increased relative risk of a cardiovascular ischemic event and total mortality that is two-three fold greater than those without PAD. Therefore, screening for PAD not only identifies patients with asymptomatic PAD in whom risk factor modification can slow or stop the progression of the disease process, but also allows identification of individuals who may also may be at risk of heart attack and stroke due to blockages affecting these organ systems.

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