Diagnostic Testing Services

Bone Densitometry is a method that safely determines bone mass loss by measuring radiation absorption by the skeleton. It's most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that involves a gradual loss of calcium, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile, and more likely to break. It is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.
How to prepare: Wear loose fitting clothes without buttons, zippers or snaps.
What to expect: You will lie still on a padded table for about 20 minutes while an X-ray arm moves over your body to take images of the lower spine and hips.

Computerized Tomography (CT) scan is a radiographic technique that produces a digital image that represents a detailed cross section of tissue structure. KVH Hospital's GE LightSpeed 16 scanner provides incredibly fast, accurate, three-dimensional images of the human body for increased accuracy and patient comfort. CT scans can help diagnose a variety of adult and pediatric conditions related to inner ear ailments, cancer, strokes, heart and lung physiology; organ pathology and function; and traumatic bone and soft tissue injuries.
How to prepare: Most CT exams require patients to fast four hours before the test. Wearing loose clothing without snaps, buttons, or zippers is recommended.
What to expect: During the CT scan, you will lie on a narrow table that slides through the opening of a large device called the gantry. The technologist will position you on your back, side or stomach, depending on the area to be scanned. The X-ray tube rotates around your body while the table slowly moves through the gantry. Each rotation produces several image slices of your body. During this time, a technologist supervises the CT scan from another room and monitors the images as they appear on the computer screen. The technologist can see and hear you, and can easily communicate with you via intercom. Some CT scans require a patient to receive an intravenous contrast medium. The contrast medium highlights vascular structures (blood flow) within the body. During the contrast injection the patient will experience a warm feeling throughout their body. This feeling is caused by friction build up in the blood vessels and should only last about 30 seconds. Most CT scans are completed within the hour. Scans requiring the patient to drink a contrast medium may take up to two hours.

Echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than an X-ray image and involves no radiation exposure. This test is performed to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart in a noninvasive manner. The echocardiogram allows doctors to evaluate heart murmurs, check the pumping function of the heart, and evaluate patients who have had heart attacks.
How to prepare: No preparation is necessary for this test. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.
What to expect: The echocardiogram takes approximately 60 minutes. An echocardiogram requires a sonographer (a technician specializing in using ultrasound techniques) to apply warm gel to the chest area. This gel helps the transducer, a wand-like instrument, glide smoothly over the body and send high-frequency sound waves to the heart. The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts the impulses to moving images of the heart.

Digital Fluoroscopy is a form of X-ray that allows us to view deep structures of the body in real-time. It provides very detailed images of function and the structure of areas like the intestines, bladder, cardiac muscle, and stomach. Unlike a regular X-ray which records the image to film, digital fluoroscopy records a series of images to a computer. Once digitized, we can view the area being examined while it is moving and functioning on a computer monitor.
How to prepare: Barium studies like Barium Enema, upper GI, and Barium swallows require preparation and fasting. When your test is scheduled, you will be given detailed instructions on how to prepare for your specific test.
What to expect: Digital fluoroscopy tests often include oral or intravenous contrasts to be given prior to testing. You will be positioned on a large flat table; this table can move and be tilted at different angles during your exam. A moveable X-ray camera extends over a portion of the table, captures images and sends these images to a nearby television monitor for viewing by the radiologist performing your exam.

Mammography is one of the best tools for early detection of breast cancer. Like all cancers, breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body change and grow out of control. When problematic breast tissue cells are diagnosed early, the prognosis for cure is extremely high. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women have a first, or baseline, mammogram at age 40 and annually thereafter. The atmosphere of the Mammography Department is warm and comfortable and the staff members are highly trained, female technologists who are certified by the National American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT) both in Radiology and Mammography. Mammography results are interpreted by a radiologist who is a physician specializing in medical diagnosis by X-ray. KVH Hospital's comprehensive mammography program includes screen mammography and diagnostic mammography.
How to prepare: Please do not use deodorant or body powder. Some deodorants and body powder contain aluminum by-products that will appear as white dots on an X-ray. These white dots can mimic calcium structures which can be mistaken for cancer. If a patient needs special assistance with standing or is in a wheelchair, please notify the Imaging Department in advance.

What to expect: A diagnostic mammography will take about 45-60 minutes. Screening mammography will take about 20-30 minutes. During a mammogram, a woman's breasts are compressed with a special machine. The breast is placed on a square X-ray plate and a compression paddle is gradually lowered over the breast. Images of each breast are taken with X-ray film that is designed for breast tissue.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced medical imaging technique that produces cross-sectional images of the body without the use of X-rays. The images are produced using a large magnet, radio frequency waves, and a computer system.
KVH Hospital uses state-of-the-art MRI equipment that provides a safe and effective way to diagnose diseases, infections, and inflammatory conditions of the spine, brain, blood vessels, chest, abdomen, pelvis and skeleton.
How to prepare:
Patients with pacemakers cannot have an MRI study. Follow the exam instructions provided by your practitioner or call 509.962.7343 for instructions.
What to expect:
Our MRI unit is conveniently located in a modular building within the hospital campus. You will be positioned on a padded table that moves in and out of a tunnel-like structure of the MRI. Once you are comfortable, the technician will leave the room, but will constantly communicate with you during the imaging process. The scanner makes clanging noises and you may experience some vibration. Patients are given ear plugs to help muffle the loud noises coming from the scanner. The duration of the test depends on the area of the body that is being imaged. Most MRI studies take approximately 45- 60 minutes.  

Ultrasound Imaging is typically used in fetal monitoring and imaging of internal organs, but is also used to detect blood clots, abdominal conditions, and breast lumps. Ultrasound imaging involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
How to prepare:
Follow the exam instructions provided to you by your practitioner or call 509.962.7343 for instructions.
What to expect:
You will be positioned on the exam table and warm gel is placed on the area of the body that will be imaged. This gel helps the transducer, a wand-like instrument, glide smoothly over the body to record ultrasound images. Most ultrasound exams take 45-60 minutes.

Radiography (X-Ray) is a form of electromagnetic pulse radiation. To take an X-ray of the human body, short X-ray pulses are sent through the body to a radiographic film cassette. Different body components absorb X-radiation at different densities. The X-radiation that passes through the body turns the X-ray film from white to multiple shades of gray forming a picture.
KVH Hospital and Yakima Valley Radiology have teamed up with Nighthawk, an organization based in Sydney, Australia. American, board-certified radiologists read X-rays while living in Sydney. This convenient service provides off-hour emergent radiology interpretations allowing KVH to treat patients around the clock.
How to prepare:
No preparation is necessary for a routine X-ray.
What to expect:
Before your X-ray, you may be asked to change into an examination gown and to remove any metal from your body including eyeglasses, jewelry, watch, etc. Next, you will be taken into the X-ray suite and positioned on an examination table. Once you are in position, the technologist will take the image. The technologist will put a new film in the machine and you may be asked to change position to allow imaging from different viewpoints.