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  • Canberra Imaging GroupWednesday, 26 July 2006
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Angiography is a specialised diagnostic imaging procedure where a catheter (small flexible tube) is threaded into an artery or vein, generally in the groin area. An Interventional Radiologist threads the tube using an x-ray monitor as a guide. When the catheter has reached the area to be examined a contrast (dye) is injected. The contrast clearly outlines the blood vessels and enables the Interventional Radiologist to see any irregularities or blockages. The images taken are called angiograms.

Computed Tomography – CT Scans

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Computed tomography (CT) uses low dosage x-rays to produce a volume of data that can be displayed as cross sections (slices) in multiple planes. This volumetric data may also be used to produce 3 dimensional images.

The images can be digitally manipulated in order to display tissues of varying density from lung to bone. Any part of the body may be imaged using CT.

CIG provides low dose multislice CT services at all of our locations.

We perform all routine imaging of the body including neurological, oncology, musculoskeletal, and vascular (CT angiography) along with CT guided interventional procedures such as spinal injections and biopsies.

Our Deakin site offers an industry leading ultra low-dose 160 slice CT with advanced cardiac capabilities, and an increased gantry aperture to cater for larger and claustrophobic patients.

Lifting equipment is also available at Deakin for non-ambulant patients.

Imaging of the large bowel (CT colonography) is performed at our Deakin site, allowing complete evaluation of the large bowel where conventional colonoscopy has not been successful.

CIG have a dedicated team of CT radiographers who continually undergo intensive training and ongoing development.

DEXA Bone Densitometry

DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorption) Bone Densitometry is a method used for measuring the density of bone and diagnosing osteoporosis. If osteoporosis can be detected and treated early, the risk of a fracture as a result of osteoporosis is decreased significantly.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI

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CIG provide MRI services at three locations in the ACT, Calvary John James Hospital Deakin, Peter Yorke Building, the Brindabella Specialist Centre at Garran and the University Superclinic (USC) on the University of Canberra campus.

MRI is becoming a more commonly used clinical tool for a number of medical conditions.

We perform imaging of the musculoskeletal system for all conditions, such as joint injuries, muscle tears and tumours.  Other common body regions scanned are the brain, spinal cord, breast and abdomen.

We are the leaders in the ACT for imaging for the small bowel in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease.

Our Wide Bore MRI scanners cater for both larger and claustrophobic patients, providing more space and comfort for most examinations and helping to avoid any requirement for sedation.

CIG provide early morning and late evening appointments along with Saturday appointments at Deakin to provide flexibility for our patients.

CIG have specifically designed MRI safe wheelchairs and trolleys to assist with immobile patients.  Our Deakin site also offers lifting equipment for patients who are wheelchair bound.

CIG have a dedicated team of MRI radiographers who undergo continual intensive training.  Our Radiologists and technical staff are committed to ongoing professional education and regularly attend Australia wide conferences and events to ensure we are we are at the forefront of latest advances and practices in MRI.


Mammography plays a key role in the early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram obtains information about a variety of breast conditions by the use of X-ray imaging of the breast. The technique uses compression of the breast tissue to obtain clear images. Views are taken from several angles to ensure complete coverage of both breasts In addition to doing mammograms CIG perform Hook Wire Localizations and vacuum assisted biopsies, also known as Mammotomes.

3D mammography exams, now at Canberra Imaging Group’s Deakin and Bruce sites, help to eliminate most detection challenges with 2D mammography. Breast tissue is examined layer by layer with the x-ray arm sweeping in an arc over the breast, taking a series of images at various angles. To ensure radiation exposure is within recommended guidelines, very low X-ray energy is used during the procedure. At Canberra Imaging Group mammography is followed by ultrasound of the breast, which increases the accuracy of the diagnosis.

Nuclear Medicine

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This branch of medicine uses radiation to provide information about the body’s anatomy of the functioning of specific organs. The information enables physicians to provide a quick and accurate diagnosis of conditions such as thyroid disorders, heart disease and bone fractures. The tests are painless and most scans expose patients to only minimal amounts of radiation and provide an effective means of examining whether some tissues are functioning properly.

Therapy using nuclear medicine is an effective and safe way of controlling, and in some cases eliminating, conditions such as overractive thyroid, thyroid cancer and arthritis.


PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography)

A  PET/CT (positron emission tomography/computed tomography) scan is an imaging procedure showing the chemical function of an organ or tissue from the PET, and the structure from a conventional diagnostic CT. PET/CT is an extremely sensitive test for detecting the early stages of disease and can show abnormalities even in the absence of structural changes. Small amounts of tumour may be found using PET/CT, even if they are undetectable by other imaging procedures, which can have an important impact on choosing the best treatment option. PET/CT information can be used to determine what combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy is most likely to be successful in managing your cancer. PET/CT can also help to monitor the effectiveness of therapy and assist planning for surgery and radiation therapy.


Types of PET/CT scans

A variety of clinical PET/CT scans are performed in the PET/CT department at the Brindabella Specialist Centre, including:


Name of test

Purpose of test

Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT The vast majority of scans are done with this sugar-like substance. As tumours use sugars to grow, it is useful for imaging a wide range of different tumours but can also be useful for imaging inflammation, infection and brain function.
DOTA-TATE (GaTate) and DOTA-NOC PET/CT Mainly used to image neuroendocrine tumours, phaeochromycytoma, paraganglioma or neuroblastoma.
Ga-68 prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT Imaging of prostate cancer.


Preparing for a PET/CT scan

For a FDG PET/CT scan, you will need to fast (have no food) for six hours before your scan, as the concentration of the radioactive sugar in tumour is affected by the amount of natural sugar in the blood.


This is particularly important for diabetic patients. For this reason, please contact the PET department at the Brindabella Specialist Centre in advance of your appointment if you are a diabetic and likely to have a blood sugar level of greater than 10 mmol/L-1.


You should drink at least 500ml of plain water (nothing else) in the couple of hours before your appointment.  You may be told not to do any strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the scan. Unless you are told otherwise, you should carry on taking any medicines prescribed for you by your doctor.


Depending on the area being tested, some other preparations may be required. A personalised instruction sheet will be sent to you with exact preparation instructions.


On the day

Where to go

Brindabella Specialist Centre

5 Dann Close


Having your PET/CT scan

On arrival you may be asked to change into a gown. You will also need to remove all jewellery and any other metallic objects.  A plastic needle (cannula) will be inserted into one of the veins in the back of your hand or arm.


You will then receive an injection of a radioactive chemical that is taken up in most cancerous tumours. For a FDG PET/CT scan, you will need to lie down and rest for a minimum of one hour while the radioactive sugar circulates around your body. Sugar naturally goes to muscles that are moving, so resting can prevent these muscles from taking up the radioactive sugar and hiding the view of any tumour.


After this resting period, you will be moved to the scanning room, where pictures will be taken. This will take up to 30 minutes depending on the area required to be scanned. During this a CT contrast injection may be given to further enhance structures of the scan.



What to bring to your PET/CT scan appointment

Please bring any films or CDs of prior imaging studies, for example CT or MRI scans, that may have been performed elsewhere.


The scan will take around two hours in total and you are encouraged to bring your own music device.


After your PET/CT scan

A PET scan is a very safe and routine procedure. Millions of PET scans have been done around the world without complication. The radiation dose for this procedure is small. You will not need to distance or isolate yourself from others; by the end of the day all the radiation will be out of your body.


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CIG offers integrated SPECT/CT systems that can perform both functions on one gantry and provide fused functional and anatomic data in a single imaging session. In addition to allowing anatomic localization of nuclear imaging findings, SPECT/CT also enables accurate and rapid attenuation correction of SPECT studies. These attributes have proved useful in many cardiac, general nuclear medicine, oncologic, and neurologic applications in which the SPECT results alone were inconclusive.


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The name ultrasound refers to the use of high frequency sound waves (too high for humans to hear) to produce images.  The sonographer places a “transducer” on your skin which both generates the sound and receives echoes from structures inside your body.  Computers and advanced software then convert the echo information into the image you see on the screen.

Most people may know that ultrasound is routinely used to monitor different stages of pregnancy.  However, ultrasound can give valuable diagnostic information about many other parts of the body and disease processes.  This includes imaging of abdominal organs, muscles and other organs referred to as “small parts.”   A special ultrasound technique called Doppler gives information about blood flow in arteries and veins.   Ultrasound is also frequently used to guide the placement of needles for biopsies and injections.