Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic imaging has come a long way from simple X-rays. Today, doctors can diagnose a range of diseases and conditions from cancer and COPD to muscle tears and blockages. In many cases, diagnostic imaging has replaced “exploratory surgery”, instead allowing physicians to see inside the body using non-invasive and minimally-invasive methods. Advanced imaging techniques used at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre including CT, MRI, PET, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine.

Your doctor/primary care provider/Emergency Department doctor likely will have explained to you what your test is and what it is looking for. Ask your doctor any questions you may have about the procedure. You can also feel free to ask the DI technologists conducting your test about what is happening.

Please note that the person conducting the test will not be able to give you the results of your test. Only a doctor, primary care provider, or specialist can provide you with that information.

If you cannot make your appointment for any reason, please contact the Diagnostic Imaging Reception Desk at (807) 684-6384. The earlier you can contact us the better as we will be able to help get someone else in for their appointment sooner.

Did You Know?

The Health Sciences Centre consistently ranks well for both CT and MRI wait times.

The Health Sciences Centre was one of the first facilities in Ontario to go fully digital. Our Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) was also one of the first systems of its kind, able to transfer digital images across secure Internet connections.

What to Expect

People who have diagnostic imaging tests ordered by their doctor register at the Diagnostic Imaging desk. Please arrive 15 minutes before your test unless otherwise advised. Some tests require that you arrive up to one hour before your appointment time. Please bring your health card. You may bring a companion with you to your test, though generally you will be asked to go to the examination room alone. Exceptions are made for children and for people who may require extra assistance. Please discuss your needs when you register.

Each test is different, so we have created brochures that provide information on each type of diagnostic imaging procedure within the department. Please click on one of the links below for more information about your procedure.

Please note that the person conducting the test will not be able to give you the results of your test. Only a doctor, primary care provider, or specialist can provide you with that information.

The Diagnostic Imaging Team

Diagnostic imaging relies upon high-tech equipment to quickly and accurately image the inside of the human body. It takes skill and training to use this equipment. In some cases, our technologists also examine and interpret the images. These healthcare professionals are a key part of the diagnostic process, helping doctors, primary care providers, and specialists get the images they need to better diagnose and treat their patients.

As a group, healthcare professionals who work within the Diagnostic Imaging Department are known as Medical Radiation Technologists (MRTs). MRTs at the Health Sciences Centre include five distinct technology-related disciplines in the healthcare field: Radiological Technologists, Sonographers, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, and Magnetic Resonance Technologists.

Radiological Technologists provide diagnostic X-rays and other associated diagnostic imaging procedures. Specialties include general radiography, mammography, angiography, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT scans).

Magnetic Resonance Technologists (MR technologists) acquire medical images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Since it was introduced as a diagnostic imaging tool in the 1980s, MRI has helped physicians get clear pictures of the cardiovascular system, detect tumours, study body chemistry and functions, and image soft tissues including muscles and tendons.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists acquire images that help pinpoint the nature of a disease and how it is affecting the body using mildly radioactive “tracers” that light up on an image. PET/CT scanning is one example. Nuclear medicine is mainly used to evaluate coronary disease, determine the location of tumours, monitor cancer treatment effectiveness, and study how the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs are functioning.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Ultrasound and Echocardiography: Diagnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound Technology) is a rapidly expanding medical technology that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of normal anatomy and pathology.  Sonographers are medical professionals who are focused on patient care and perform ultrasound examinations in hospital and clinic settings. They integrate their knowledge of physics and instrumentation, with patient clinical history and sonographic findings to seek out, document, and quantify disease. These findings are reported to a physician and form an integral component in the management of each patient. Students in this program learn about sonography of the abdomen, obstetrics, gynecology, and the vascular tree.  Echocardiology is a specialty area of Ultrasound Technology and studies the heart.

How Can We Help?

The above information is designed to provide you with all the information you need before coming in to the Health Sciences Centre for a diagnostic imaging procedure. However, if you need more information or have questions, ask your doctor/primary care provider, or call the Diagnostic Imaging Department at (807) 684-6384.

Patient Information Brochures

Reference Number Name
DIAGIM-16 Welcome to Diagnostic Services
DIAGIM-01 Barium Swallow-Upper GI Series
DIAGIM-02 Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
DIAGIM-05 T-Tube Cholangiogram
DIAGIM-08 Voiding Cystogram
DIAGIM-09a Barium Enema Children
DIAGIM-09b Barium Enema Adults
DIAGIM-17 The Safety of X-Rays During Pregnancy
DIAGIM-22 Breast MRI
DIAGIM-24 MRI Fasting
DIAGIM-12 After Your CT Procedure…Patients Taking Metformin
DIAGIM-21 Map for Cancer Centre CT
DIAGIM-23 CT Angiogram
DIAGIM-14a Ultrasound Prep-Fasting
DIAGIM-14b Ultrasound Prep-Full Bladder
DIAGIM-25 Ultrasound – No Preparation
DIAGIM-19 Fertility Clinic
Nuclear Medicine
CRESP-05 Regular Stress Test
DIAGIM-26 Nuclear Medicine – No Preparation
DIAGIM-27 Nuclear Medicine Stress Testing
DIAGIM-28 Nuclear Medicine PET-CT
DIAGIM-29 Bone Density Test
DIAGIM-15 Nuclear Medicine – Preparation Required

Clinician Consultation Forms

Reference Number Name
Breast Breast-Imaging-and-Procedures-Requisition (FCS-187)
CT Scan Computed Tomography (CT) (FCS-116)
PET-CT Request Form (FCS-396)
CT Important Information Regarding a CT Scan (FCS-315)
Echo Referral Request Echocardiography (FCS-397)
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FCS-001)

Nuclear Medicine Insured Registry Referral Form
Bone Mineral Density Consultation (FCS-206)
Nuclear Medicine Consultation Request (FCS-086)
DI Sentinel Injection and Imaging (FCS-286)
Out-Patient SCA Priority Outpatient Diagnostic Requisition (FCS-389)
Radiology Interventional Radiology Requisition (FCS-431)
Radiology Consultation Request (FCS-203-e)
Ultrasound Ultrasound Consultation Request (FCS-204)
Fertility Clinic Appointment Form (FCS-280)
Xray Xray consultation form (FCS-203)