Welcome to American Health Imaging Decatur
Quality Care, Tailored to Your Needs
When you’re concerned about your health, every detail matters – and every day counts. At American Health Imaging, our promise to you is to deliver clear, accurate, and reliable results on a schedule that meets your needs and time constraints. We are located one block from the DeKalb Medical Center, 2.7 miles from Emory University Hospital Main Campus, and 7 miles from Emory Midtown Atlanta Hospital. We offer evening and weekend hours and are easily accessible via MARTA at the Avondale train station and the 123 bus stop. With the ability to book same-day, evening, and weekend appointments, you and your doctor will soon have the information you need to make key decisions about your healthcare.
A Safe, Comfortable Patient Experience
With highly trained radiologists and the state-of-the-art imaging equipment, we also promise crystal clear images and thorough, insightful reports delivered to your doctor by the next business day. Our commitment to technology and caring technologists ensure a safe, worry-free experience, and we’ll walk you through every step of the process from appointment to report.
Affordable, Accessible, and Worry-Free
Finally, given the financial concerns that often accompany health complications, we pledge to make your imaging as affordable as possible. Our exams cost up to 75% less than equivalent tests at hospitals, we accept most insurance plans, and we offer competitive self-pay rates.
At American Health Imaging, we know you have a choice in imaging providers. We hope to see you soon.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, pain-free imaging technique that combines magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your body’s structures. While x-rays are typically used to view bones and joints, MRI is perfectly suited for organs, muscles and other soft tissues.
What to Expect During Your MRI
Typically lasting 30 to 60 minutes, MRI exams require very little preparation. Your technologist will simply ask you to remove jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and they will help you lie comfortably on a cushioned table. That table will then slide into the circular MRI machine, where you’ll remain for the duration of the exam. As the technologist collects images, they’ll be able to see, hear and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you may have.
Yearly mammograms are excellent for screening for breast cancer, but for women at high risk, many physicians also recommend yearly MRI. In women already diagnosed with breast cancer, MRI can also help to measure existing tumors and spot the growth of new ones.
Why MRI? A safe, painless imaging technique, MRI combines magnets and radio waves to create more detailed images of your body’s tissues. While x-rays allow for quick, convenient mammograms, MRI provides greater detail that helps physicians spot tiny tumors that a mammogram might miss.
Preparing for Your Breast MRI
Breast MRI is most effective the week following your period. You can tell us which times and locations work best with your schedule, and we’ll call you the week prior to your appointment to provide additional guidance. This guidance will include a discussion of existing medical conditions, what to do if you’re pregnant or nursing, and the best clothing to wear to your exam.
What to Expect During Your Breast MRI
During a breast MRI exam, you’ll be asked to wear a hospital gown and remove any jewelry and other metallic objects that could interfere with the machine’s magnets. You’ll lie on your stomach on a cushioned table, with your breasts naturally positioned in a cushioned opening, your head on a headrest, and your arms positioned above your head.
Once you’re in position, the table will slide into the circular MRI machine. During your 60- to 90-minute exam, your technologist will be able to hear, see and speak to you, alleviating any concerns you have may have.
DTI, sometimes called DT-MRI, is short for Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This innovative diagnostic technique is a variation of the standard brain MRI that is used to create high-resolution images of the anatomy of the brain. The DTI isolates water movement within the brain, which allows doctors to visualize regions that are not functioning properly. A traditional brain MRI scans cannot highlight these abnormalities, because they do not have the capability of tracking the normal patterns of water through the white matter of the brain. When that water flow is disrupted, DTI scans show the problem clearly. Tracking water diffusion allows doctors to see how the water normally flows through healthy parts of the brain’s axons and compare places where water diffusion is obstructed, signaling brain injury.
How does an DT-MRI work?
To have a DT-MRI, you lie on a cushioned table in front of a large tube containing a strong magnet. A coil will be used to help concentrate the magnetic field and radio waves to the head and neck. The result of the scan is a 3-dimensional digital image that a physician can review with you. The different amounts of realignment among atoms in different tissues allow us to visualize different types of tissue, such as muscle, fat, and bone, in your body. This can allow your doctor to detect unusual tissues, such as tumors, or damaged tissues, such as torn ligaments. American Health Imaging has invested in this technology that allows the (Tube) to have a largest wide bore and openings on both ends so you don’t feel like you’re going inside a tunnel. The most AHI centers this opening is 70 cm wide and only 125cm long so your head and feet are in the open on many exams. Claustrophobia is much less of a concern with the latest technology to obtain a high-resolution MRIs in a more open environment.
When should my doctor order an DT-MRI?
DT-MRI is utilized to help doctors determining the extent of a brain injuries (otherwise know at traumatic brain injury or concussions). Unlike traditional MRIs that use magnetic fields and computer technology to excite and then map the hydrogen atoms of the body, DTI machinery tracks the pathway of water throughout the brain. Because water in the brain only goes in one direction, it is easier to track this motion and thus map the different nerve paths of the brain as they are very complex. Many developmental, aging, and pathologic processes of the central nervous system are influenced these pathways of water in the brain. Once the nerve pathways are clearly mapped, neurologists can see if there is damage, bleeding or symptoms of other neurological or mental conditions.
Thanks to DTI, concussions are now being thoroughly imaged. Before the advanced technology of DTI MRIs, concussions could be examined through traditional MRIs but smaller amounts of bleeding and nerve damage were extremely difficult to determine. Now, doctors can track the nerve pathways in the brain with high clarity and understand the genetic and biological causes of some medical conditions.
DTI MRI has been instrumental in uncovering the area of the brain that possibly contributes to autism. Scientists have determined that Fragile X syndrome is the leading cause of mental developmental issues and the most frequent cause of autism spectrum disorders. Their conclusion found that FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein) is critical in brain development and that if the correct positioning of brain cells during the development of the cortex is not made, autistic traits can emerge as a child becomes older. Read the full study These factors could not have been studied in such high detail without the help of DTI MRI imaging. The advanced technology of DTI MRI could be finding the causes and cures for more diseases and conditions in coming years.
How do I prepare for an DTI exam?
Minimal preparation is necessary for a DTI scan (also known as a DT-MRI). Because the MRI scanner is a giant magnet, we ask you to remove all metallic items from your body and pockets before approaching it. If you’re wearing anything that contains metal, including jewelry or sunglasses, you will need to remove those items. Braces and dental fillings typically won’t pose a problem, but pocketknives, pens, pins, and certain dental appliances can interfere in the test and cause problems with the MRI machine. The staff may ask you to wear a gown or clothing that do not contain metal fasteners. We also need to know if you have any metal in your body such as inner ear implants, vascular stents, brain aneurysm clips, a defibrillator / pacemakers, or an artificial joint. Next, you lie on a flat table that we slide into the tube to start the DT-MRI scan. We provide headphone and music to help you relax during the exam.
Is there radiation from an MRI?
A DTI (also known as a DT-MRI) is a painless, noninvasive test with no known risks as long as you have no metal inside or on your body. Unlike an x-ray or CT scan, an MRI exam will NOT expose you to radiation. Some patients get claustrophobic in the MRI scanner, but this condition is far less likely at American Health Imaging because of the wide bore with an opening of 70 cm. Most DT-MRIs take 30-60 minutes, and American Health Imaging Centers will send a written report to your doctor within 24 hours.
Computed tomography (CT) uses a rotating series of x-rays to produce cross-sectional pictures of your body. These pictures appear as “slices” of a specific body part, and they show much more detail than traditional, flat x-rays.
Like MRI, CT is safe, painless and noninvasive. While MRI is most often used to examine muscles, organs and tumors, CT is generally applied to fractures, blood clots and abdominal injuries. In all cases, our skilled radiologists will consult with your doctor to determine which scan will deliver the most accurate and informative results.
What to Expect During Your CT Scan
Even faster than MRI, CT scans take just 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll set aside jewelry, belts and other metal objects, and depending upon the body part being scanned, you may be asked to remove your normal clothing and wear a hospital gown.
Some types of CT scans also require a contrast dye, which may be given as a flavorless drink or quick, painless injection. This dye appears bright white on your final images, helping doctors to differentiate between different types of tissue. If your CT scan does require a contrast dye, your doctor, radiologist or technologist may ask you to fast for a few hours before your exam.
Once you’re ready for the exam, you’ll simply lie on a cushioned table, which will slide your body into the circular CT machine. You’ll be able to communicate with your technologist throughout the exam, and they can help to alleviate any concerns you may have.
One of the safest, most tried-and-true imaging technologies, ultrasound uses sound waves to create images called sonograms. Ultrasound is widely used for observing fetal development in pregnant women, but it may also be used to detect problems in the liver, kidneys and other abdominal organs.
Because ultrasound doesn’t rely on radiation, it’s perfectly safe for both you and your baby. It’s also pain-free and noninvasive, and it doesn’t require the use of contrast dyes or other solutions or injections.
What to Expect During Your Ultrasound Exam
Quick, convenient and easy, ultrasound exams typically last 20 to 40 minutes. Your technologist will conduct the exam with a transducer, a small handheld device that looks like a wand. They’ll apply the transducer to the body part being examined, along with a gel that helps sound waves pass through your skin. Depending upon the nature of your exam, you may be able to see the images during your exam, on a screen connected to the ultrasound device.
An arthrogram is a series of pictures that offers physicians a more detailed view than a single image. Typically used to examine shoulders, knees and other complex joints, arthrograms may be created from multiple x-rays, MRI images or CT images. Ultimately, this series of images helps doctors to find defects not only in bones, but in other joint structures such as tendons, ligaments, muscles and cartilage.
What to Expect During Your Arthrogram Exam
Most arthrograms require the use of an injectable contrast fluid, which helps to highlight a variety of joint structures. Injections may cause a slight burning sensation, but your technologist will use local anesthesia and a thin needle to minimize pain and soreness.
A myelogram is a specific application of fluoroscopy, an x-ray technique that displays continuous images as a sort of “movie.” During a myelogram, a tiny amount of contrast dye is injected into the space surrounding the spinal cord. By observing the movement of that dye, doctors can spot abnormalities in discs, nerves and other parts of the spine and nervous system – details they might not be able to see with traditional x-rays.
What to Expect During Your Myelogram
Like other x-ray imaging techniques, myelograms are safe, painless and minimally invasive. While they do require the injection of a contrast dye, your technologist will use local anesthesia and a tiny needle to eliminate pain and reduce soreness.
You’ll lie on your stomach on a cushioned table during the injection and exam, which typically lasts for a total of 30 to 60 minutes. Throughout the exam, your table will tilt slightly at various angles to allow the radiologist to view the areas where you’re experiencing the most pain or discomfort. Your technologist will also stay by your side during the entire exam, ready to answer questions and alleviate concerns.
Digital radiography is a type of x-ray imaging in which image sensors are used in place of traditional film – much like the difference between film and digital cameras. The images themselves are comparable to traditional x-rays, but digital radiography saves time by avoiding chemical film processing. Just as importantly, digital x-rays require less radiation than traditional x-rays. Like other x-ray techniques, digital radiography is safe, painless and noninvasive.
What to Expect During Your Digital X-Ray
Taking a digital x-ray is much like taking a traditional x-ray, and if you’ve ever broken a bone, you’re likely familiar with the process. A technologist will help you onto an exam table or chair, depending upon the positions required for the image. A plastic plate called a film cassette will be placed directly under or behind the area of the body to be imaged, and you’ll be asked to hold still for a few minutes while the x-ray is being taken. This process will be repeated for additional views, and the whole procedure will likely take 15 minutes or less.
A safer, non-surgical alternative to liver biopsy, FibroScan is a painless imaging technique that measures the scarring, or fibrosis, caused by many liver diseases. Using a technology similar to ultrasound, FibroScan produces an image of the liver by measuring the speed of sound waves passing through it. The shades of color in that image then allow radiologists to determine the levels and locations of scarring within a patient’s liver.
What to Expect During Your Fibroscan
Typically lasting 15 minutes or less, Fibroscan is one of the fastest, most convenient imaging methods available. During the procedure, you’ll be asked to lie on your back with the right side of your abdomen exposed. Your technologist will use a small, handheld probing device to emit sound waves along the surface of your skin, which will be immediately analyzed and displayed by a nearby computer.
We have printable patient medical forms available below for your convenience. Feel free to fill them out on your computer and bring them with you when you come for your appointment. This will facilitate your time and get you back to your day as quickly as possible.