Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic Services

Lakeland Health offers a wide range of diagnostic therapeutic radiology services. Our radiology department utilizes advanced imaging, such as computed tomography (CT)  scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Lakeland exhibits its community commitment by offering a number of advanced services, such as digital mammography and MRI scans at Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph, Lakeland Hospital, Niles, and at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet.


Angiography is one of the most common ways to diagnose blockages in the arteries and veins through the use of X-rays. During angiography, the physician inserts a catheter into a very small incision in the groin area. A contrast dye is injected to make the blood vessels visible on an X-ray. The radiologist can then identify narrowing or blockages that may be effecting blood flow.

Bone Densitometry

Bone densitometry is used to measure the bone mineral content and density. This measurement can indicate decreased bone mass, a condition in which bones are more brittle and more prone to break or fracture easily. Bone densitometry is used primarily to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine fracture risk. The testing procedure measures the bone density of the bones of the spine, pelvis, lower arm, and thigh.

Computed Tomography Calcium Scoring

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD). People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. In addition, over time, progression of plaque build up (CAD) can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, sometimes called "angina," or a heart attack.

Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed tomography (CT) is used to provide a three-dimensional cross section of bones and soft tissues, in the head, chest, abdomen, pelvis and extremities. The highly detailed images produced through CT scans are very useful in the diagnosis of acute illnesses such as cancer. For those patients, CT is also an effective tool for monitoring patients during and after treatment.

Lymphangiogram (LAG)

A lymphangiogram is an imaging study that can detect cancer cells or abnormalities in the lymphatic system and structures. It involves a dye being injected into the lymph system.


Fluoroscopy is a technique that uses a continuous beam of X-ray to study moving body structures. The X-ray "movie" is transmitted to a video screen that can allow the physician to review images of the body and its motion in greater detail.


PET/CT is considered by many experts to be a significant advance in cancer diagnosis and staging. PET is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine various body tissues to identify certain conditions. PET may also be used to follow the progress of the treatment of certain conditions. PET is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a radionuclide (a radiopharmaceutical or radioactive tracer), is injected into the body during the procedure to assist in the examination of the tissue under study. A special type of camera can then detect the radioactivity in the body.

Specifically, PET studies evaluate the metabolism (utilization of tagged glucose molecules) of a particular organ or tissue, so that information about the physiology (functionality) and anatomy (structure) of the organ or tissue is evaluated, as well as its biochemical properties. Thus, PET may detect biochemical changes in an organ or tissue that can identify the onset of a disease process before anatomical changes related to the disease can be seen with other imaging processes, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). More recently, PET/CT performs PET and CT at the same time and produces a composite image that can both produce a picture of an organ and measure its utilization of sugar. 


A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women who either have breast problems such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge, as well as for women who have no breast complaints. Mammography cannot prove that an abnormal area is cancerous, but if it raises a significant suspicion of cancer, a biopsy may be performed. Tissue may be removed by needle or open surgical biopsy and examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancer. Mammography has been used for about 30 years, and in the past 15 years technical advancements have greatly improved both the technique and results. Radiation risks are considered to be negligible. Lakeland offers both traditional 2D and 3D mammography services.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also shows detailed three-dimensional views of bones and soft tissue.  MRI often provides even more details than CT. It is used, for example, for spine problems, vascular diseases, sports injuries and heart disease because it can detect even tiny tears in ligaments or muscles or small thickenings in the arteries. MRI gives radiologists the ability to clarify subtle soft tissue abnormalities, thus providing great assistance during disease treatment planning stages.

Lakeland has both a stationary MRI in St. Joseph, which is used for more complex cases and two mobile MRIs, one at St. Joseph, and one at Lakeland Hospital, Niles. Mobile MRIs allow Lakeland to provide quality care close to home. Patients can get an MRI within 24 hours.


Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain images from inside the human body. The sound waves’ echoes are reflected off of the bodies organs to create a "real-time" visual image. In addition to using ultrasound for obstetric purposes, it can also be used as a way to examine the bodies internal organs and to assess damage after heart attack.


X-rays are the most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays are the quickest way for a physician to view joint and spine injuries or broken bones.

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