Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures Terms

Angiogram / Angiography / Arteriogram

All three terms refer to a medical imaging technique used to outline the blood vessels, particularly the arteries, of the body. During the procedure, a dye is injected into the blood vessel and X-ray images are taken of the visible blood vessels.

Computed Tomography (CT)

Commonly called a CT scan or CAT (computed axial tomography) scan. CT scans are a type of x-ray imaging that uses computer-process combinations of many images taken from different angles to create virtual slices of body part without having to cut into the subject.


A imaging test using an injected contrast dye to help determine if the source of back pain is a damaged intervertebral disc, or which disc is responsible.

Electromyogram (EMG)

A test used to assess the function of a muscle and the nerves that control it. An EMG is performed by inserting a tiny needle that serves as an electrode into the muscle.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Similar to a CT scan, an MRI is a noninvasive tool used to create three-dimensional images of the inside of the human body. MRIs use a magnetic field to produce clearer images than CT scans or x-rays.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

An imaging technique using MRI technology to generate images of arteries.


A test using x-rays or CT scans to visualize the spinal bones and the space around the spinal column.

Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Test

Also called a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS). NCV tests are used to determine nerve damage by measuring the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve.

Nerve Root Block (NRB)

An injection of local anesthetic and steroid injected under X-ray guidance into the area where the nerve exits the spinal column.


A common imaging technique using electromagnetic rays to capture images of various structures of the body.

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