The Cardiovascular and Neurodiagnostic Department at Martin Health offers a complete range of services. The experience of our skilled cardiologists and trained staff, along with the latest technology available, produces a high quality of service for our patients in the evaluation of cardiac problems.
Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
Our five multi-slice CT scanners take a series of pictures to give doctors a three-dimensional view of your internal anatomy. Our radiologists use these images to make a diagnosis and help pinpoint treatment. Our state-of-the-art equipment takes multiple "slices" much faster than traditional CT scanners, which take minutes. This high speed technology means less breath-holding for patients, and sharp, clear, high-resolution images for greater diagnostic confidence. In addition to examining internal anatomy, CT can also be used for evaluation of blood vessels and screening for coronary artery disease.
Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT Scan)
Martin Health uses a state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner to combine the ability of a PET scanner to detect metabolic activity (described below) with the ability of a CT scanner to examine anatomical structures. This is the first high-resolution, six-slice PET/CT scanner on the Treasure Coast! These two functions combined together allow doctors to determine if metabolic activity is cancerous, determine its precise location in the body, and determine what treatments are likely to be the most beneficial for the patient--all at the same time.
The PET and CT images, taken together, provide a much clearer image than those done individually. Prior to PET/CT, doctors would have to compare two separate scans. This new combined PET/CT technology is more accurate, allows for better treatment planning options, and is much faster--taking less time for two exams together than previously achieved for one PET scan!
Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool for analyzing a tumor's metabolic function. It is different than other imaging techniques, such as a CT scan or MRI, which analyze the body's anatomy. PET is the only diagnostic tool that can detect and display metabolic changes in tissue.
PET is an especially indispensable diagnostic tool in oncology and neurology. In oncology, PET scanning is used to diagnose and treat tissue for metabolic changes, such as those seen in cancer cells, in areas such as the lung, breast, gastrointestinal tract, ovary and musculoskeletal system. It is also used in post-treatment identification of reoccurring tumors. In neurology, PET scanning is used to assess dementia, Alzheimer's disease and seizures.
Martin Health’s St. Lucie West Diagnostic Center is pleased to offer pulmonary function testing (PFT) and arterial blood gas (ABG) testing, providing added convenience to patients in western St. Lucie County. Martin Health St. Lucie West Diagnostic Center is accredited by the College of American Pathologists. In St. Lucie County, call Central Scheduling at 772.785.5566 to schedule an appointment.
Interventional Radiology (Biopsies, Angiography, Angioplasty)
Special diagnostic procedures performed at Martin Health include Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology. Interventional Radiology is a minimally-invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat everything from a blood clot in the leg to an aneurysm in the brain. Interventional Radiology includes:
- Angioplasty (repair of a blood vessel using a balloon-tipped catheter and vascular stents)
- Evaluation and treatment of dialysis grafts
- Thrombectomy and thrombolysis (blood clot removal and dissolving)
- Embolization (stopping blood flow to selected tumors, including uterine artery embolization)
- Radiofrequency Ablation (the removal of a tumor using high-energy radio waves)
Interventional Radiology procedures usually only require a small incision. A thin catheter and dye are used to take pictures of problem areas. Doctors use these procedures to open restricted veins and blocked arteries, and drain blocked gallbladders and kidneys. This minimally invasive technology means faster recovery times for patients.
Interventional Radiology services are available at Martin Health Medical Center. For information, call 772.223.5945, ext. 3137.
Nuclear Medicine is a specialized area of imaging that uses tracers, called radiopharmaceuticals, to examine an organ's function and structure. These scans are often used to treat diseases in their earliest stages. Nuclear medicine can be used to examine kidneys, thyroid function, bones, joints, heart, lungs, breasts, lymph nodes, prostate and brain. Your doctor may order these tests to diagnose infectious and inflammatory processes, cancer, abscesses, heart function, blood circulation and more.
MRI uses radiofrequency waves and a strong magnetic field to provide remarkably clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Magnetic resonance is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools for imaging multiple types of soft tissue and enabling the detection of abnormalities that might not be seen with other imaging methods. MRI is painless with no known side effects and the patient is not exposed to radiation.
For patient comfort, Martin Health offers three convenient locations with high-field and open-field MRI scanners to benefit claustrophobic or larger patients. The radiologists and MRI staff are expertly trained in their field to provide the best possible experience and highest quality results for each and every patient.
General Radiology (X-Rays)
X-ray technology allows doctors to see beyond the surface of your body and examine your bones and internal organs, such as the heart and lungs. In addition, the use of contrast agents, such as barium and iodine, are used to enhance the internal organs for a more detailed evaluation.
Fluoroscopy allows the doctor to observe the function of your internal organs in "real time" with the use of a contrast medium such as barium. The doctor can evaluate your anatomy as the contrast passes through your body and see each portion of your anatomy in detail.
Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that uses sound waves to form a two- or three- dimensional image of internal structures. During an ultrasound, a probe is moved along the skin and positioned to look at internal structures. The main advantage of ultrasound is that there is no radiation used, and it is relatively easy for the patient. Ultrasounds are well-known for their use during pregnancy to check the health of mother and baby, and can check the growth and position of the baby. Ultrasound is also used to evaluate the gallbladder and kidneys, and it can also detect tumors in the body.
One out of every nine women may develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Mammography is an important tool in the detection and treatment of breast cancer. Mammography is a low-dose x-ray of the breasts used to detect cancer or other problems, often before a lump becomes large enough to be felt. It is recommended by the American Cancer Society that women aged 40 and older have a mammogram every year in conjunction with an annual physical examination. (Regular breast self-examination is also recommended.) Mammography is available at Martin Health outpatient centers in Stuart and St. Lucie West and at Martin Health Hospital South.
Bone Densitometry (Osteoporosis Screening and Evaluation)
Patients who may be at risk for osteoporosis can benefit from this measurement of bone mineral density to help prevent the disease before it develops. Our equipment is sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in bone density, and can help evaluate a patient's response to treatment. The exam is painless and requires no special preparation. All it takes is a prescription from your physician to quickly screen for the presence of osteoporosis. This exam is available at our outpatient facilities in Stuart and St. Lucie West and is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.