Imaging | CT, MRI, X-rays, PET imaging


State-of-the-art radiology services in Cape Girardeau

The radiology department at Saint Francis Medical Center offers comprehensive diagnostic services and advanced technology to patients. Comprised of board-certified radiologists who have received additional training in specialist areas such as computed tomography, MRI, and PET / CT, Radiology also includes a team of expert level-certified radiology technologists. national and state registered nurses.

Radiology in Saint Francis also uses an image archive communication system and electronic medical records to manage and deliver medical images and information.

American College of Radiology®

For 10 years, all the radiology modalities of the Saint Francis Medical Center have been accredited by the
American College of Radiology (ACR) for superior performance in terms of image quality and security, including:

The radiology department of Saint François offers the following services:

Radiology services

Radiology at Saint Francis Medical Center offers the following services:

To scan

Axial computed tomography (CAT scan) uses radiation to produce high quality diagnostic axial images. These images are interpreted by radiologists who detect abnormalities in the body such as cancers, fractures and neurological diseases. These scanners are operated by a team of nationally licensed CT technologists who perform the scans at the lowest dose while providing high quality diagnostic imaging.

Saint Francis offers three high quality CAT scanners:

  • A dedicated interventional scanner
  • A scanner dedicated to emergencies / trauma
  • The region’s only dual power source flash CT scanner

These scanners are operated by a team of nationally registered CT technologists who perform the scans at the lowest dose while providing high quality diagnostic imaging.

Flash CT Scan

Our flash CT scanner offers the following:

  • Low dose lung screening used to detect any abnormalities in the chest and lungs
  • High-quality scans of the whole heart in one beat
  • Identify abnormalities of the heart, coronary arteries and heart valves
  • Ability to scan the entire thorax, abdomen and pelvis in just eight seconds compared to 45 seconds on traditional scanners
  • 75% reduction in radiation use
  • Pediatric patients can be scanned without needing to hold their breath
  • Faster scan times with reduced radiation and significantly lower repetition rates

PET and CT

Positioning Emission Tomography (PET) at Saint Francis Medical Center provides advanced diagnostics for cancer, neurological disease and heart function. Unlike MRIs, CT scans, or X-rays which show the internal structures of the body, CT scans detect activity in body tissues and help doctors diagnose various diseases and conditions.

PET / CT at Saint Francis combines positional emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) in one scanner. This system allows clinicians to visualize tissues and organs as well as observe their function. PET / CT scans also allow doctors to better diagnose conditions such as cancer, neurological diseases, and bone masses and pinpoint the exact location of the disease.

Interventional radiology

Saint Francis interventional radiologists specialize in minimally invasive procedures using image guidance. Using x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and other imaging modalities, they get images that direct instruments throughout the body. These procedures are performed using needles and catheters, rather than large surgical incisions, and offer an alternative to open surgical procedures. This allows for smaller incisions, less risk, less pain, and shorter recovery times for the patient. Some procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis and are often less expensive than traditional surgery.

Using x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and other imaging modalities, our interventional radiologists obtain images which are then used to direct interventional instruments throughout the body. These procedures are performed using needles and catheters, rather than large surgical incisions.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) produces a very detailed picture of all parts of the body. It is non-invasive and does not use any radiation. The procedure is painless, has no side effects, and is used to diagnose:

  • Brain diseases
  • Stroke
  • Infections
  • Tendinitis
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Bone tumors
  • Cysts
  • Herniated discs

Saint Francis was the first healthcare facility in the region to offer the latest MRI technology with the addition of Siemens MAGNETOM® Espree and Aera 1.5 Tesla open-pit MRI systems. These systems offer larger openings for increased patient comfort and a short bore design, allowing the patient’s head to be outside of the machine for 60 percent of scans.

With the addition of the Aera Magnet, patients enjoy the highest quality MRI imaging thanks to its superior design and improved software.

Saint Francis also has the latest scanning technology which reduces or eliminates artifacts. This ensures a more accurate diagnosis for patients with prostheses.

Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine uses small amounts of radioactive tracers to image organ systems in the body. These tracers are either injected or ingested into the body. Nuclear imaging is used to determine how well organs are functioning compared to anatomy seen using other radiology modalities. Nuclear imaging can be used to assess the function of the heart, brain, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and lungs, as well as to screen for cancer of the bones and other organs.

Imaging stress tests

  • Nuclear resistance test: The cardiolite radioactive material is used to image the heart at rest and under stress. These images are compared to assess blood flow to different areas of the heart and to determine if there is a blockage in the coronary arteries.
  • Chemical resistance test: If a patient is unable to exercise on a treadmill, a chemical stress test may be ordered. These chemicals include lexiscan and dobutamine and are used in conjunction with an echocardiogram or nuclear imaging.
  • Stress echocardiogram: Ultrasound images of the heart are taken at various stages of cardiac stress. Depending on the patient’s physical condition, he or she may undergo a stress test or chemical stress test as well as a stress echocardiogram.

PET F18 bone survey

PET F18 Bone Survey is a powerful tool that captures high-definition images of bones, making it easier for doctors to accurately detect cancer that has spread to the bone. This bone assessment requires a shorter waiting time for the scintigraphy: the time between the injection and the examination is about 45 minutes compared to four hours for a classic bone scan. The actual test only takes about 20 minutes, compared to 30 minutes for a conventional bone scan.

Saint Francis Medical Center is the first facility in the region to offer this exciting breakthrough in the fight against cancer.


Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to create images of organs and body tissue to:

  • Diagnose the pathology
  • Locate internal bleeding and fluid
  • Assess blood flow in the upper and lower limbs and the brain
  • Perform prenatal, obstetric, gynecological and breast assessments
  • Help physicians perform image guided biopsies in the area of ​​interest
  • Help doctors remove fluids from the abdomen or chest for therapy

Digital radiography

Saint François has the latest technologies in digital imaging,

which allows for lower radiation doses and provides better quality imaging. This allows a more precise diagnosis.

Some x-ray studies such as fluoroscopy use a contrast medium that is injected or ingested to help diagnose lesions in the body. Fluoroscopy is a live x-ray image that allows the doctor to assess physiological functions such as swallowing and reflux.


To learn more about the radiology services at Saint Francis Medical Center, call 573-331-5111.

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