Charles River Medical Associates offers Metrowest state-of-the-art imaging services.

When your doctor needs a noninvasive look inside, CRMA offers numerous diagnostic imaging services. Once your tests are completed, your results will be available to all the providers on the CRMA team responsible for your care. This heightened access gives us faster turnaround, better service and reduces the chance of administrative error. Additionally, you may check out our Patient Gateway to review your results online.

Trained diagnostic imaging technologists conduct each test and will guide you through the necessary steps at a speed you’re comfortable with. Our connectivity as an organization will deliver rapid, accurate test results and get you the efficient care you need to get back to living a healthy life.

Comprehensive imaging gives our doctors the right tools for optimal care.

Browse through our drop-down menus below for information on each imaging service and possible preparation instructions.

General X-ray

Provides helpful images of solid structures (such as bone) within the body. Often used as a first exam to diagnose problems. Our X-ray technologists are all highly trained, and we offer our services on a walk-in basis.

Nuclear Medicine

A radioactive isotope (radiotracer) is injected, swallowed or inhaled and given time to be absorbed by the part of the body under examination. Presence of disease will cause the radiotracer to concentrate, and our talented and certified staff will use a Nuclear Imaging Scanner to take images of the body, revealing these clusters. Cardiologists then look at these images and formulate a diagnosis.

Typical preparation for a Nuclear Medicine test involves restricting food intake for at least six hours, as well as several medication restrictions.  Heed your doctor’s specific instructions to ensure your test is successful and no time is wasted. Your testing time may vary, but you should anticipate spending several hours at the testing facility.

Digital Mammography

Using a specialized x-ray technique, our technicians can produce images of the inner breast tissue. This allows our doctors to identify cysts, calcifications and tumors and is currently the most efficient method of detecting breast cancer early.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound testing allows our physicians to see images of the body’s organs. One of our highly skilled, specially trained technicians will apply gel to the ultrasound area and move a small, hand-held device (transducer) back and forth across the target area. The transducer emits high-frequency sound waves that are inaudible to the human ear, which then echo off the internal structures of the body and return to the transducer. These echoes are recorded and transformed into video or still images for review by a doctor.

One advantage of ultrasound testing is that no radiation is involved and it’s relatively quick and easy to perform. This means you won’t have to plan your day around the test, although preparation is sometimes involved. Another key advantage is that ultrasound is performed in real time, providing moving images that maximize your doctor’s ability to see from multiple angles, and also to view movement. You may be asked to drink water before the test, eat a fat-free dinner, or possibly fast. Be sure to follow all instructions given by your doctor to ensure your test is successful.

CT Scan

A CT (computed tomography) scan involves taking multiple X-ray images from various angles and compiling them using a computer. This produces a clear, detailed view of the internal structures of the body, allowing doctors to diagnose diseases earlier in their progression.

The CT scan itself is painless — however, you may be administered a contrast material to enhance the images, which will involve a slight pinprick. Your doctor may restrict fluids and foods prior to the exam, and any history of iodine allergy should be mentioned to both your doctor and the exam staff.

Bone Density

As we age, our bones become less dense and more likely to fracture or break — a condition known as osteoporosis. The bone density test is a type of X-ray exam that can detect signs of osteoporosis, allowing your doctor to treat the condition and slow its progress.

During the test, you’ll lie on a table while a machine takes X-ray images. The test takes 10 to 15 minutes, causes no pain, and you may eat and drink normally beforehand. Please do not take any calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to the exam, and be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing with no metal, such as zippers, belts or snaps.  Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a CT scan or Radioisotope scan.  You may have to wait 10 to 14 days before having a bone density test.

Echocardiography

A cardiac ultrasound exam uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the valves and chambers of the heart. No radiation is involved with this test, and it is completely painless and noninvasive.

Cardiac Stress Test

In some instances, coronary artery disease (CAD) will only reveal itself when the heart is stressed by exercise. After viewing your heart with an echocardiogram and taking an initial reading of your blood pressure and pulse, you will slowly begin to exercise by either walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bicycle. If you are unable to exercise for some reason, we can use medication to simulate cardiac stress. Your level of exertion will slowly progress, with measurements taken at each increase. Any symptoms that arise will be monitored, and you’ll be observed until your pulse, blood pressure and echocardiogram return to baseline.

Do not eat or drink for a couple of hours before the test, but make sure you are well-hydrated. Prior medical conditions, such as diabetes, may affect your pre-test directions, and you may be asked to not smoke before the test.

If you have any questions about your test, do not hesitate to ask. It’s crucial that you feel as comfortable as possible during your exam to produce optimal results.

For more information about our testing services, or to schedule an appointment, call 1-508-848-2164.