GW Imaging Center
The GW Imaging Center uses X-rays, radioactive tracers and ultrasonic waves to detect, diagnose and guide the treatment of a number of diseases and injuries. Radiologists can then interpret imaging studies, act as consultants to other specialists and perform interventional radiology procedures using imaging equipment.
The GW Hospital Imaging Centers
900 23rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
Suite 100, 2121 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm (hours vary depending on service and exam appointment availability)
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment, please call the Radiology department at 202-715-4907.
The GW Imaging Center provides many types of radiological procedures.
Mammography is a type of imaging that uses a low-powered X-ray to provide pictures of breast tissue. Mammography is usually used in breast cancer screenings and is able to detect 85-90 percent of breast cancers in women over the age of 50.
Ultrasound, or sonography, uses high frequency sound waves to see inside the body. A device that acts like a microphone and speaker is placed in contact with the body using ultrasound gel to transmit the sound. As the sound waves pass through the body, echoes are produced and bounce back to the transducer. These echoes can help doctors determine the location of a structure or abnormality, as well as information about its make up. Ultrasound is a painless way to examine internal organs such as the heart, liver, blood vessels, breast, kidney or gallbladder, and is most commonly known for its ability to examine a fetus in the mother’s womb.
Podcast: How Point-of-Care Ultrasound Impacts Women in Medicine
Dr. Kat Ogle discusses the importance of Point-of-Care ultrasound and the benefits in prenatal and emergency care.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues. Since MRI does not use X-rays, no radiation exposure is involved.
Outpatient Safety Screening Form
Fill out the form prior to your appointment and bring it with you to save time.
Angiography is an imaging procedure that takes images of blood vessels in various parts of the body, including the brain, heart and kidneys. This imaging helps doctors to determine whether the vessels are diseased, narrowed, enlarged or fully blocked. There are three major forms of angiography: catheter angiography, computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).
Helical (Spiral) CT Scan
Helical (Spiral) CT is a vast improvement over conventional CT scans. The patient lies on an exam table that passes through a doughnut-shaped scanner, while an X-ray tube rotates around the table. With the helical CT, there is less likelihood to miss small tumors or abnormalities, and spiral CT is about 8 to 10 times faster than a traditional CT.
Cardiac Catheterization Lab
Cardiac catheterization is a type of invasive angiography that involves a catheter being advanced from an artery in the groin to the heart. Contrast material is injected to help view the heart and coronary arteries. A cardiologist usually performs these procedures.
Scintimammography is used primarily in breast cancer screenings to detect abnormal tracer uptake in areas that may be tumors. It is most useful in women with dense breast tissue and little fat or for those whose mammogram was not diagnostic. Following injection of a radioactive tracer into the blood stream, the tracer is absorbed by any cancerous cells in the breast tissue or surrounding lymph nodes. A gamma camera, called the Dilon 6800® Gamma Camera (developed by Dilon Technologies, Inc.), is used to detect the tracer localized in abnormal cancer cells. Because the machine is designed for dedicated breast imaging, it is more comfortable and allows better uptake measurements than general nuclear medicine gamma cameras.
Computer Aided Detection (CAD)
Computer Aided Detection (CAD), a supplementary procedure in the field of mammography, is used in conjunction with conventional mammography to substantially improve diagnostic accuracy. GW Hospital was one of the first sites in the nation to use Second Look™ software developed by CADX Inc. The radiologist first reviews the whole mammogram as before, and then the Second Look software analyzes the digitized mammogram. Any irregularities noted by the computer are then re-evaluated by the radiologist.
The application of CAD helps to decrease the risk of observational error in the interpretation of mammograms, while also increasing the chances of detecting subtle malignancies at the earliest possible stage.
Radiation therapy machines can more tightly control the radiation beam, directing it at the abnormal tumor and limiting the exposure to surrounding normal tissues. This type of therapy has been refined further through the usage of 3D imaging technology and computerized treatment planning to better identify and target the cancerous tissue.