Diagnostic Sciences

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Diagnostic Sciences

A Powerful Image Is Good for Health

We have a comprehensive, leading-edge set of imaging capabilities, all aimed at helping us offer the community the highest standard of care on the Central Coast.

Newly diagnosed cancers and other disorders are evaluated with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Dominican offers Central Coast patients this technology, which means patients won't have to travel out of the area for a PET scan.

Cardiologists can use PET scans to evaluate the extent of heart disease and determine the most effective procedures for their patients. PET scans can also identify the heart's viability after a heart attack to determine which patients will benefit from coronary artery bypass graft or a heart transplant.

Additionally, by showing brain activity, a PET image can help neurologists determine whether a patient has Alzheimer's or other dementia. PET can also localize focal areas for seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

All-digital cardiac catheterization also is available at Dominican, continuing our commitment to bringing a level technology to our community that exceeds that of many metropolitan area hospitals.

New Cameras Give Edge to Nuclear Medicine


Two new variable-angle dual-detector gamma cameras in Dominican's Nuclear Medicine Department show more distinct pictures, reduce diagnostic times and yield more data in a variety of tests -- from cardiac to bone and kidney studies.

The cameras are often used in cardiac studies to detect myocardial infarction and coronary artery stenosis, or narrowing of the arteries.

In addition to higher resolution, the cameras give nuclear medicine technicians more control over editing the pictures -- they can cut out background interference and concentrate on the exact area they need to see. The accompanying software allows radiologists to display the pictures in whatever colors work best for them -- some areas are better in gray scale and some in color -- at their viewing station. They can even call up images stored on their PC, and replay acquired images at any speed, stopping any frame for a better look.

Advanced MRI Capabilities


The cutting-edge Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner in action at the MRI Center at the front of the Dominican Hospital campus shortens the time patients spend in the device while increasing efficiency and test quality.

In early 2003, Dominican replaced its aging MRI core with new GE Excite technology that features eight-channel scanning. The high-field strength 1.5 Telsa magnet provides maximum resolution and shortest scan time possible.

The upgraded equipment offers 30-40 percent improvement in orthopedic, neurological and vascular imaging, and welcome the addition of basic cardiac imaging previously not possible with MRI.

The time patients must remain motionless and hold their breath during MRI scans will be cut almost in half with the new Dominican system, adding greatly to patient comfort.

Interventional Radiology Offerings

Interventional radiology is a subspecialty of radiology in which treatments are performed using image guidance from technologies traditionally used for diagnostic purposes, like MRI, X-Ray or ultrasound. There is less risk, less pain and less recovery time and oftentimes is less expensive when compared with traditional open surgeries.

From fibroid treatments to oncology, our interventional radiology department offers more than 50 procedures for the Santa Cruz community.

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Dominican Hospital
1555 Soquel Dr
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 462-7700