Overview of Diagnostic Imaging
The medical imaging studies performed at Santa Fe Imaging are administered and interpreted by specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries using imaging technologies: X-Ray, Mammography, Computed Radiography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MRI), Sonography /Ultrasound, Bone densitometry, and PET/CT. Each technology provides unique opportunities to “see” inside the body by building images that provide detail about internal structures that are not visible to the human eye.

Detailed information about SFI services, including what to expect in the exam; preparations that may be required; and other helpful data is available by selecting a study from the In This Section column.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRIAmerican College of Radiology MRI uses a different set of technologies based on very powerful magnetic fields that create detailed images of organs, soft tissue, bones, and other body parts. MRI exams are especially useful in helping to diagnose nervous system, musculoskeletal, and cancer-related diseases or injury.

CT (Computed Tomography)

CT scansAmerican College of Radiology CT combine X-ray and computer technologies to create a series of images that are often called “slices” of the area being scanned. Computer technologies then format these “slices” into either 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional images that are used to evaluate a wide variety of injuries or potential problems throughout the body. See more about CT lung screening.

Ultrasound (Sonography)

UltrasoundAmerican College of Radiology Ultrasound studies use yet another technology based on high-frequency sound waves paired with computer technologies to generate “real-time” images of the body. Ultrasound is especially useful in obstetric and breast imaging care.


X-ray exams use a form of electromagnetic radiation that passes through the body to produce a 2-dimension image that is particularly helpful in identifying bone or lung problems.

Breast Imaging

American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of ExcellenceBreast imaging exams may involve a variety of technologies, including screening mammography, diagnostic ultrasound, and MRI. Additionally, when suspected irregular growths require lab analysis to determine what type of cells are involved, biopsies may also be performed with the aid of imaging technology.

Brand new to Desert Rose Women’s Center at SFI: 3D Automated Whole Breast Ultrasound (ABUS), a supplemental exam for dense-breasted or high-risk patients which helps improve cancer detection by nearly 40%, with no additional radiation.

Bone Densitometry

Bone densitometry, or bone density scanning, is an enhanced x-ray imaging procedure used to measure bone loss with an extremely small amount of radiation. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) is the established standard for these tests, which measure the level of calcium and other minerals in bone. Defining bone mineral density (BMD) helps diagnose how dense and strong the bones are. A quick, painless, noninvasive procedure, this study measures small amounts of bone loss not apparent in other types of tests.

Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual Colonoscopy is a CT technique that produces hundreds of images of the abdominal organs to assist in detecting changes or abnormalities in the colon and rectum. Like other imaging studies, virtual colonoscopies offer a non-invasive alternative to other forms of colon cancer screening.

Vascular-Interventional Radiology Consulting

Some of Santa Fe Radiology’s physicians are specialists in areas of Interventional Radiology, which uses medical imaging to guide minimally invasive, targeted treatments for a variety of conditions. Imaging studies using X-rays, ultrasound, and CT scans allow these physicians to treat the sources of diseases in a less invasive way. These physicians treat vascular diseases utilizing endovascular techniques, including balloon angioplasty, stents, and atherectomy. While they perform interventional procedures elsewhere, our radiologists schedule consultations for vascular and interventional patients at SFI as part of their patient evaluations.