Adrenal Imaging

The Department of Radiology provides whole body imaging services including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear medicine exams, such as positron emission tomography (PET) and adrenal-specific functional imaging such as metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scanning.

We also provide unique whole-body imaging technology using MRI. This novel imaging modality is capable of imaging the entire body, with no radiation or risk, and is particularly relevant for the screening and monitoring of genetic syndrome associated with adrenal disorders. This methodology has been uniquely developed by our staff and is performed when indicated by other adrenal center physicians.

All imaging modalities are available at the main hospital campus in Boston, with additional imaging centers providing CT and some MRI services in Chestnut Hill and Foxborough.

Your visit

Patients having an MRI will receive a phone call prior to the scheduled exam to confirm the appointment and to answer screening questions about any metal in your body that would affect your eligibility to have a safe MRI exam. In addition, both CT and MRI exams may be supplemented with an intravenous contrast agent that may need to be adjusted based on your kidney function. As such, you may be asked about any kidney disease or may be asked to obtain a blood test by your doctor’s office prior to your exam if you have any risk factors for kidney impairment.

Many radiologic exams require an intravenous contrast agent (CT or MRI) or radioisotope (nuclear medicine studies) to be injected for the imaging study. A nurse or technologist will need to place a small tubing into a vein in your arm to make this possible. The exam time is variable, depending on which exam your doctor has ordered. Some CT exams can be as short as 5 minutes, while some nuclear medicine exams can take over an hour. The technologist will go over this with you shortly after you arrive.

Services Offered

Our department offers multiple exams which can screen for and characterize diseases of the adrenal gland. CT exams can be useful to look for adrenal masses or to help determine whether a known adrenal mass is benign or malignant. MRI exams can also be used to help determine whether a known adrenal mass is benign or malignant. In addition, MRI may be used as a whole body screening tool in patients with a genetic predisposition to certain diseases. Nuclear medicine exams are useful as whole body imaging exams to both screen for disease and stage known cancers.

Personnel

Our department includes radiologists trained in multiple subspecialties, including neuroradiology, thoracic imaging, and abdominal imaging, as well as dedicated CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine technologists, and radiology nurses.

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