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imaging services

The imaging department at Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children's Hospital - Oak Lawn offers the most sophisticated technologies to help diagnosis illnesses in patients of all ages.

Our interventional radiologists use the latest technology to guide small tubes, called catheters, and other miniature devices directly to the site of the problem. Often, interventional radiologists need only make a small incision to access the diseased area.

We offer five Computed Tomography (CT) scanners, two of which are 64-slice CT scanners. These high-technology scanners are capable of advanced imaging of the chest, abdomen, brain, heart, lungs and extremities.

Computed Tomography (CT)

What is it?
CT uses special X-ray equipment to obtain images from different angles throughout the body. A computer processes the information to show a cross-section of body tissues and organs. CT is particularly useful because it clearly shows different types of tissue and produces images quickly. A CT scan is generally a short procedure, ranging from seconds to 10 minutes or longer, depending on the body part scanned.

What are some examples of CT Procedures?

  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) - is used to detect clots in veins, view narrow or obstructed arteries or detect diseased areas of blood vessels.
  • Coronary CTA - is used to evaluate the coronary arteries and vasculature of the heart for patients who experience chest pain and shortness of breath, but are not at high risk for coronary artery disease.
  • CT-Guided Biopsy - involves a very thin needle used to withdraw a tissue or fluid specimen from an organ or suspected tumor mass.

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Diagnostic Radiography (X-ray)

What is it?
Radiography, more commonly known as X-ray, is a painless medical test that helps radiologists diagnose and treat medical conditions. x-rays involve delivering a small dose of ionizing radiation to a specific body part. They are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

What are some examples of Radiography (X-ray)?

  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) - is an X-ray exam of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses contrast material.
  • Other Types of X-rays - include gastrointestinal imaging (stomach and intestines), orthopedic imaging (bones and joints) and spine radiography.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is it?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed 2-D and 3-D images of the organs and structures in the body. MRI does not use X-rays or ionizing radiation to create these detailed images. Because MRI uses strong magnets, anyone entering the MRI scan room must be thoroughly questioned about any prior surgery and any implanted devices before the MRI can be performed. An MRI scan can range from 45 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the scan.

What are some examples of MRI procedures?

  • MR Angiography (MRA) - is used to detect problems with the blood vessels leading to the brain, kidneys and legs that may be causing reduced blood flow.
  • Musculoskeletal MRI - is used to examine major joints, the spine for disc disease and soft tissues in the arms and legs.
  • MRI Breast Imaging - is used as a supplemental tool for detecting and staging breast cancer and other breast abnormalities.
  • MRI-Guided Breast Biopsy - is used to help guide the radiologist to the suspicious area.

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What is it?
Ultrasound imaging (also known as sonography) is typically a painless medical test where radiologists look inside the body by using sound waves to create images. Ultrasound imaging does not involve radiation.

What are some examples of ultrasound procedures?

  • Vascular Imaging - is used to help monitor blood flow to organs and tissues, to locate and treat abnormalities like blood clots and plaque, and to determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a procedure such as an angioplasty.
  • Carotid Artery Imaging - is used to detect narrowing of the carotid arteries.
  • Abdomen and Pelvis Imaging - is used to help diagnose problems including stomach pain, an inflamed appendix, or kidney and gallbladder stones.

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Nuclear Medicine

What is it?
Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to examine organs. Nuclear medicine is often used to help diagnose and treat diseases like thyroid cancer in early stages.f

In nuclear medicine procedures, patients are given a radioactive substance either orally or intravenously. Images are developed based on energy emitted from the substance.

What are some examples of Nuclear Medicine?

  • Scans - are used to diagnose many medical conditions and diseases in different parts of the body, such as the kidneys, bones and brain.
  • Sentinel Node Injections - are used to visualize the sentinel node-the first lymph node from a tumor site.
  • Cardiac Stress Tests - are used for patients with unexplained chest pain or chest pain brought on by exercise (called angina).

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Interventional Radiology (IR)

What is it?
Interventional radiologists perform minimally invasive, targeted treatments that can often replace open surgical procedures. These treatments are generally easier for patients to tolerate, because they involve less risk and pain, require no large incisions, and have shorter recovery times. Most of the procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis.

What are some examples of Interventional Radiology treatments?

  • Chemoembolization of Tumors - is used to deliver cancer treatment directly to a tumor.
  • Diagnostic Angiograms - is used to take images of blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the brain, neck, abdomen and extremities, to determine whether vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or blocked.

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