Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes our Whole Body Scan Different from other practices?
    • There are many centers offering whole body/wellness scans, but none of them offer a high resolution MRI/CT combination like The Radiology Clinic. Our practice recognizes that MRI or CT alone cannot accurately evaluate for disease and pathology. Using the strengths of both modalities, we have tailored a study that is highly diagnostic, efficient, and practical for our patients.
    • Is MRI more sensitive than CT?
      • Both MRI and CT have their strengths and weaknesses. In general, MRI provides a higher degree of diagnostic efficacy than CT; lesions/tumors are better characterized and disease processes are better evaluated; this is especially true in the brain. Another added benefit is that MRI produces no ionizing radiation! With this being said, CT is ideal for visualization of the lungs and coronary arteries. For this reason, we image these two parts of the body with low dose, XR-29 compliant CT images.
      • What is ACR accreditation?
        • The American College of Radiology (ACR) is the premier oversight body of radiology practices. They set forth imaging standards that incorporate technical quality, radiation dose management, and general appropriateness criteria. In order to be accredited by the ACR, centers must go through a rigorous screening process and submit samples of their imaging for evaluation. At The Radiology Clinic, both our MRI and CT programs are accredited by the ACR.
      • What is a Whole Body Scan used for, and who should have one?
        • A Whole Body Scan is a powerful screening tool available to patients and their providers. It is meant to be a preventative tool to catch disease and pathology before it becomes larger or spreads. Although anyone could benefit from a whole body screening, some individuals are at a higher risk of disease process. This can include older patients, those with significant medical histories, or those who have serious medical conditions that run in the family.
      • What are the limitations of a Whole Body Scan?
        • While a Whole Body Scan can visualize even small pathologic processes, it is important to understand that disease that has not manifested itself to such a degree that it can be detected in standard radiologic imaging may not be properly evaluated. For example, early onset lymphoma may only be detected with a panel of bloodwork and not been visualized in radiologic imaging. A Whole Body Scan covers from the top of the head to the bottom of the pelvis and is optimized to detect disease processes that could potentially become larger, spread, or cause major damage to the patient. For this reason, the extremities are not included; musculoskeletal regions such as the rotator cuff and knees are not evaluated. Breasts are seen on some images but our protocol is not a substitution for proper breast screening. A combination of mammography and ultrasound are usually the preferred route for breast cancer evaluation.
      • Why do I need a doctor’s order?
        • Whenever advanced imaging is required, a doctor’s order (script) should be provided. At this point, the provider who wrote the order is technically managing the care of the patient. Whole Body Scans can detect disease processes that need care and follow up including additional imaging, blood work, biopsies, or a clinical exam. It is important that a provider that understands your history and specific health needs spearheads these efforts in a coordinated fashion to assure that you receive the treatment and follow-up you require.
      • How much radiation will I receive?
        • At The Radiology Clinic more than 75% of your scan is performed using MRI. Not only does MRI produce a more diagnostically effective scan but it does so with no ionizing radiation. For the lungs and heart, CT is a more effective tool. At our practice we utilize low dose, XR-29 compliant scanning techniques that use the lowest radiation dose necessary to obtain your images.
      • Why isn’t a “Virtual Colonoscopy” scan included?
        • A true “Virtual Colonoscopy” is an exam that is performed in both the prone and supine positions using CT. Although we are able to provide this service to patients we do not include it in our Whole Body Scan. One downside to a Virtual Colonoscopy scan is if there are polyps or other pathology that requires a biopsy or further evaluation, the patient will still need a colonoscopy. Additionally, the radiation dose involved is significant. For these reasons, we feel that it is best to have a traditional colonoscopy when possible.
      • How long will my images be stored?
        • Radiology Clinic has a secure, HIPAA compliant electronic archive that holds studies securely for a minimum of 10 years.
      • How long will the test take?
        • Your study will take approximately 60 minutes. The MRI portion last approximately 45 minutes, while the CT aspect is about 15 minutes. For registration, post processing, and the exam itself, the expected time in the office will be about 120 minutes in total.
      • Will my insurance cover a Whole Body Scan?
        • At this point, insurance companies are not covering Whole Body Scans using MRI and CT.
      • What if I want to go elsewhere for my Whole Body Exam?
        • A Whole Body Exam is a powerful screening tool when used in the appropriate circumstances. There are many practices in the region who are offering a version of a Whole Body Scan with widely varying techniques and methods. Whether you choose The Radiology Clinic or another practice, we want you to have the most diagnostic and appropriate screening based on your needs. Wherever you should choose to go, the following questions should be asked:
  1. Do you use MRI as the primary source of imaging to reduce radiation and provide a diagnostic study of the brain, spine, abdomen, and pelvis?
  2. Is your CT scanner XR-29 compliant and capable of dose modulation to reduce radiation dose (DLP)?
  3. Is your MRI and/or CT program accredited by the ACR?
  4. Will you perform an MRA for cerebral aneurysm detection?
  5. Are fellowship trained radiologists reading my exam?
  6. Will you follow-up my medical care needs as seen on the exam (if no script is provided by a referring physician)?

If the answer is no to any of these, we encourage you to contact The Radiology Clinic. We are here to serve you!


For further information, or to make an appointment, contact The Radiology Clinic today!