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Types of Exams

Types of Exams

Types of Exams at Cleveland Clinic STAR Imaging

There is a difference in imaging services. Cleveland Clinic STAR Imaging distinguishes itself in a number of ways.

In addition to being close, convenient and comfortable, our centers* are backed by the resources of Cleveland Clinic, a recognized world leader in medicine.

Ranked among America's Top Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, Cleveland Clinic is a world-class academic medical center that is a designated national referral center and international health resource.

MRI
MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is offered at all Cleveland Clinic STAR Imaging locations. MRI is a safe, non-invasive method of looking inside the body using magnetism and radio waves to produce clear pictures of internal body structures.

The MRI units used at STAR Imaging are a patient friendly, short-bore design. This design is much more comfortable than the traditional tubes that may have been intimidating to some patients. The newer scanner design is much shorter, and has a much wider opening, which has greatly reduced the incidence of claustrophobia and anxiety-related cancellations.

What to Expect

When you arrive for your examination, please check in at the reception desk and complete any required paperwork.

MRI is a powerful magnet, so when it is time for your exam, please remove all personal items such as jewelry, watches, coins, keys, credit cards, pagers and cell phones. If your clothing is free of metal, you may not have to change into a patient gown.

Our staff is specially trained to make sure every patient is comfortable during the procedure. Any special medical needs you may have will be addressed, and any questions you have will be answered prior to your exam.

The entire exam may last 30 to 45 minutes and consists of several shorter series. While the images are being acquired, the imager emits a series of knocking sounds. We will provide you with earplugs to minimize the sound or stereo music may be available.

The results of you examination will be sent directly to your physician.

Patient Preparation

Some conditions may make an MRI examination inadvisable. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Heart pacemaker
  • Cerebral aneurysm clip (metal clip on a blood vessel in the brain)
  • Pregnancy
  • Implanted insulin pump (for treating diabetes), narcotics pump (for treating pain), or implanted nerve stimulators (“TENS”) for back pain
  • Metal in the eye or eye socket
  • Cochlear (ear) implant for hearing impairment
  • Acute or chronic renal failure - if your exam requires injected MRI contrast

Allow two hours for your MRI appointment. The exam itself may last 40 to 80 minutes. When the image is being acquired, the imager emits a series of knocking sounds. The staff will provide you with earplugs to minimize the sound.

The results of your procedure will be sent to your physician. Most major insurers will pay for MRI exams, although many require prior authorization. You should check your benefits with your insurer well in advance of the exam. You will be responsible for the costs of all services not covered by your insurance.

CT
cat scan

Computed Tomography, commonly known as a CAT or CT scan, uses x-rays and computers to produce a cross-section image of the body. Physicians use these images to evaluate anatomical changes inside the body. CT scans are offered at both of our Columbus, Ohio locations and our Niles, Ohio location.

What to Expect

When you arrive for your exam, please check in at the reception desk and fill out the required paperwork. Please remove your watch, hairpins, eyeglasses and any jewelry. If your clothing is free of metal, you may not have to change into a gown. If there is a possibility of being pregnant, please notify the technologist before the exam.

Before the Test

Accurate preparation is important for the test be performed properly. If intravenous contrast material (or x-ray dye) is required for your CT scan, you may be instructed to have a blood test to assess kidney function before your scan. Failure to obtain the blood test may delay your CT scan appointment.

If you have had a prior allergic reaction to intravenous contrast material, notify your physician and the technologist prior to your CT scan appointment.

If you receive a special solution (oral preparation) to drink prior to your scan, please follow the instructions you were given carefully.

Depending on the type of scan you need, a contrast material may be injected intravenously so the radiologist can better visualize certain images or anatomic structures. After the contrast agent is injected, you may feel flushed, or you may have a metallic taste in your mouth. These are common reactions. However, if you experience shortness of breath or any unusual symptoms, please tell the technologist.

Because movement can blur CT images, you must lie as still as possible while the table moves through the large, donut-shaped scanning device. Also, you may be asked to hold your breath briefly – just seconds at a time – during the test.

After the Test

Generally, you can resume you usual activities and diet immediately. Your exam results will be sent you your physician and your physician will discuss the results with you.

Patient Preparation

  • If your test requires an intravenous contrast injection, do not eat or drink anything four hours prior to the exam.
  • If given an oral preparation, please follow the instructions you were given carefully.
  • Continue taking your medication as usual. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Wear comfortable clothing free of metal. This may avoid having to change into a gown.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your exam time.
PET/CT
pet ctscan

PET/CT is available at Cleveland Clinic STAR Imaging in Columbus, Ohio at our Jasonway Avenue office and at our Niles location.

The CT portion of the test sends X-rays through the body that will map the body structure. The PET portion of the test produces a whole body map of the glucose distribution. Allow about 2 1/2 hours for the appointment; however, the time necessary for the scan depends on the type of study being done.

A PET/CT scan is completely painless, with no side effects. After fasting overnight, you will receive an injection in the forearm through an IV with a small amount of radioactive glucose. It takes about 90 minutes for the tracer to work. After the distribution time is complete, you will be asked to lie on a table that passes slowly through the scanner.

What to Expect

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and CT (Computed Tomography) are both standard imaging tools that physicians use to pinpoint disease in the body. The PET scan demonstrates the biological function of the body before anatomical changes take place, while the CT scan provides information about the body’s anatomy such as size, shape and location. By combining these two technologies, physicians can more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.

PET and molecular technology allow physicians to measure cellular and molecular activity within the body to detect and characterize these disorders. PET/CT scanners combine the anatomical imaging supplied by a CT with the molecular and cellular information provided by PET, which may signal disease. By combining these two state-of-the-art technologies, PET/CT scanners give physicians more diagnostic confidence while improving patient management. This allows your physician to examine your entire body at once and determine the extent of the disease, prescribe treatment and track progress.

Patient Preparation

Day Before Exam
  • No strenuous exercise
  • Drink at least three to five glasses of water
  • Eat a high protein/low carbohydrate dinner
  • Continue all medications unless notified by your doctor, and consult your physician if you have questions
  • No food or drink, other than water, after midnight
Day of Exam
  • Drink at least three glasses of water
  • Wear comfortable clothing free of metal (snaps, zippers), and sweat clothes are ideal
  • Please make sure we have any recent radiology scans, reports and the physician’s order
  • If canceling or rescheduling, it is important to notify us 24 hours before your scheduled exam

If given an oral preparation, please follow instructions carefully. If you do not have the instructions, please call 216.986.2915 and ask for a nuclear medicine secretary or technologist.

Ultrasound
ultrasound

An ultrasound exam is a painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by humans to view the inside of your body. These waves bounce off the objects that they hit, and the reflected sound forms an echo that is viewed on a screen. The test is a useful way to view many parts of the body, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder, as well as to examine an unborn baby. The test does not require the use of any needles, dyes or anesthesia. Since ultrasound equipment does not emit radiation, they are considered to be one of the safest medical tests available today. General and Vascular ultrasound exams are available at our Columbus, Ohio locations and our Niles, Ohio location.

What to Expect

How long will my test last?

Most examinations will take 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The exception is testing of the renal (kidney) and mesenteric (intestinal) arteries, which takes closer to 90 minutes. Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete any necessary paperwork.

Do I have to do anything to prepare for my ultrasound?

For most ultrasounds, the only requirement is to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, some tests require you to drink up to six glasses of water ahead of time while others need for you to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before.

Please call our office at 614.358.4CCF [4223] before your exam to get details regarding preparations for your specific test.

What will happen during my ultrasound?

The technologist will apply a hypoallergenic waterbased gel to the area to be imaged and will then pass a small microphone-like device through the gel. This generates images on the computer screen for the doctor to read. The procedure is painless.

Patient Preparation

For most ultrasound examinations, the only requirement is to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. However, there are some exceptions. For example, some tests require you to drink up to six glasses of water ahead of time while other need for you to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before.

Please call our office at 614.358.4223 before your exam to get details regarding preparations for your specific test.

Nuclear Medicine
nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is a general term that is used to describe a test that assesses how an organ functions by detecting radiation from different parts of the body after the administration of a radioactive tracer material. The images are used to make a diagnosis and are helpful to physicians in choosing an effective treatment plan.

Nuclear medicine scans are available at Cleveland Clinic STAR Imaging on Jasonway Avenue in Columbus, Ohio and our location in Niles, Ohio.

What to Expect

Please check in at the reception desk when you arrive for your exam and complete the required paperwork. If there is a possibility of being pregnant, or if you are nursing, please notify the technologist before the exam. The staff at the imaging center is specially trained to make sure every individual has a comfortable, effective imaging session. Any special medical needs you may have will be addressed, and any questions you have will be answered at this time.

In most cases, you will receive an injection in the forearm with a small amount of radioactive tracer, but sometimes, tracers may be given orally. You will be asked to lie down on a table, and you will be positioned under a camera, which will take a series of pictures. Because the pictures are taken at a constant rate, you will be asked to lie still. The average imaging time is less than one hour, bur some studies require more than one hour, and in some cases, more than one visit. After the scan is complete, you may leave. The tracer that was injected has no side effects and is eliminated from the body naturally.

Allow two hours for your imaging appointment unless you are instructed otherwise. The results of your exam will be sent to your physician. A special radio-pharmaceutical must be ordered for your exam, so if you are unable to keep your appointment, it is very important to cancel at least 24 hours before your scheduled exam.

Patient Preparation

If you are scheduled to have a nuclear imaging test and are not sure how to prepare for it, please call 614.748.6100 to speak to a nuclear medicine secretary or technologist who can explain the procedure you will be having and give you any special instructions you will need.

There are no specific rules, since each type of nuclear imaging test has its own unique requirements. For example, one test may require you to eat or drink nothing – except for water – from six hours before the test until the completion of the study. Another test may have no restrictions at all.