What we do at University Radiology


University Radiology, a distinguished Tennessee company, specializes in diagnostic imaging using advanced technology for accurate results. Our experienced radiologists offer top-notch care across various services like X-rays, MRI, CT scans, and ultrasounds, emphasizing precision and reliability.

CT (CAT) Scans

We interpret many CT scans each year. CT technology uses special x-ray equipment to create cross-sectional images of body tissues and organs. It is a powerful tool that provides clear images of the head, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and coronary arteries.

AUR physicians can accurately diagnose illnesses and diseases using CT scans, which helps with faster treatment and reduces the need for invasive procedures.

Patient Preparation

For your CT exam, wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing without metal objects like zippers or snaps. Remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and removable dental work that could obstruct the images. You may need to fast for an hour or longer before the exam. If there's a chance you're pregnant, inform your doctor or technologist. If you're breastfeeding, let the technologist know as well.

If you've ever been diagnosed with renal failure, inform the technologist before any test begins.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

We use MRI to diagnose various conditions. It creates detailed images without contrast material and doesn't expose patients to radiation. However, it can attract any metal object due to its strong magnetic field.

Breast MRI

Breast MRI is beneficial for high-risk cancer patients, providing information that mammography and ultrasound cannot.

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI is crucial in diagnosing and managing heart disease. It helps assess heart function, detect damage, and evaluate coronary artery disease.

Patient Preparation

Patients must inform staff about any metal objects or medical conditions they have. Pregnant women should also inform the technologist before the procedure.

If you've ever been diagnosed with renal failure, inform the technologist before any test begins.

MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates detailed images of body tissues and organs without x-rays. The energy released when a patient is exposed to radio waves in a magnetic field is measured and analyzed, forming 2D or 3D images. MR angiography (MRA) is an MRI of blood vessels, used to detect and treat heart conditions, stroke, and blood vessel diseases. It can image blood vessels without contrast material, though it's often used for clearer images. It's painless and doesn't cause tissue damage.

Patient Preparation

The strong magnetic field in MRI attracts iron-containing objects within the body.
The MRI staff will inquire if you have:

  • A pacemaker, defibrillator, infusion catheter (like Port-o-cath, Infusaport, Lifeport), intrauterine device (IUD),
  • Any metal plates, pins, screws, surgical staples.
  • Bullet or shrapnel, or ever worked with metal. You may need an x-ray to find any metal fragments.
  • Drug allergies and previous surgeries.

If you've ever been diagnosed with renal failure, inform the technologist before any test begins.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine, a radiology subspecialty, involves diagnostic exams creating images of body anatomy and function based on energy detection emitted from a radioactive substance given to the patient. Radiation exposure is similar to standard x-ray examinations.

These images can help diagnose diseases by evaluating organ function and detecting tumors, infections, and other disorders. Nuclear medicine can be used to analyze kidney function, image heart blood flow and function, scan lungs, identify gallbladder blockages, evaluate bones, locate infections, measure thyroid function, determine cancer presence or spread, and identify bowel bleeding.

Patient Preparation

Typically, no special preparation is needed for nuclear medicine exams. However, if evaluating the stomach or kidneys, you may need to skip a meal or drink lots of water respectively. Minor discomfort may arise from the intravenous injection or temporary catheter placement in some studies. Lying still during the exam may also be uncomfortable.

Most radioactivity leaves your body via urine or stool, with the rest disappearing naturally over time. If pregnant, potentially pregnant, or breastfeeding, inform your doctor pre-test. Some exams may require multiple visits or longer image acquisition times compared to CT scans or X-Rays. Plan accordingly and discuss timing requirements with your doctor.

If you've ever been diagnosed with renal failure, inform the technologist before any test begins.

Pet CT

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a diagnostic exam that uses the detection of positrons, tiny particles from a radioactive substance given to the patient, to create physiologic images. These images help evaluate various diseases.

  • PET scans are primarily used for cancer detection and assessing the effects of cancer therapy.
  • They can be performed on the whole body or specific areas.
  • Brain PET scans assess memory disorders, brain tumors, and seizure disorders unresponsive to medical treatment.

Pet Cardiac Imaging

  • Heart PET scans determine heart muscle blood flow and assess signs of coronary artery disease.
  • They also identify whether areas of reduced function in the heart are alive or scarred due to a previous heart attack.
  • Together with a myocardial perfusion study, PET scans differentiate nonfunctioning heart muscle from muscle that could benefit from procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery.

Patient Preparation

Patients should wear comfortable clothes, avoid eating four hours prior to the scan, and drink plenty of water. Instructions regarding medication use will be provided by the doctor. Patients will be taken into a PET examination room for an intravenous injection of the radioactive substance. Some might undergo a stress test involving resting and active PET scans.

Post-test routine restrictions are usually absent, but drinking fluids is advised to eliminate the radioactive substance. The total exam time may exceed 1 hour. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should inform the technologist before starting the procedure.


Ultrasound is a type of medical imaging that uses non-harmful sound waves to create a image of a specific area or region of interest.

Patient Preparation

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your exam. The exact prep will be specific to your exam so please ask your referring physician for instructions or contact the radiology department where your procedure is scheduled.


Radiographs or X-rays as they are commonly known are the oldest and most commonly used type of medical imaging. An x-ray is a noninvasive method used to look at the internal structures of the body to assist in the detection of injury or disease.

Patient Preparation

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your exam. Metal objects can affect the image, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps. You may be asked to remove hairpins, jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids and any removable dental work that could obscure the images of the area of interest.


Located at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, first in Knoxville to use a state-of-the-art Bi-plane Vascular/Interventional Radiology Suite, allows our expert Radiologists to perform advanced vascular/interventional procedures effectively. This top-tier equipment optimizes image quality and radiation dose for patient benefit.

What is Interventional Radiology?

This branch of radiology focuses on minimally invasive procedures that treat a variety of conditions. From image-guided biopsies and drain placements to vascular interventions, their skilled interventional radiologists use cutting-edge techniques to provide effective and personalized treatments. With an emphasis on patient comfort and safety, University Radiology prioritizes delivering successful outcomes and improving patients' quality of life.

Uterine Fibroid Embolization

A minimally invasive technique to help alleviate pain and bleeding associated with uterine fibroids. Under x-ray guidance, using sedation and a local anesthetic, a small catheter is advanced into the arteries that supply the fibroid tumors. Once in the position, small particles are injected into the blood vessel to block blood flow. This is referred to as embolization. Without blood flow, the fibroids infarct or die. The tumors then shrink over time and become scar tissue. Most women experience significant pain relief and reduction in bleeding within one month after the outpatient procedure.

Laser Vein Ablation

Laser vein ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat varicose veins. It involves the use of a laser to heat and seal off the affected veins, causing them to collapse and eventually fade away. By targeting the underlying cause of varicose veins, which is often faulty valves in the veins, laser vein ablation helps improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms such as pain, swelling, and fatigue. This procedure offers several advantages over traditional surgical methods, including shorter recovery times, minimal scarring, and reduced risk of complications. With the help of advanced technology and skilled medical professionals, laser vein ablation offers a safe and effective solution for treating varicose veins and improving overall vascular health.

Hepatic Artery Chemoembolization

Hepatic artery chemoembolization is a specialized procedure used to treat liver cancer. It combines the delivery of chemotherapy drugs directly into the hepatic artery, which supplies blood to the liver, with the obstruction or blockage of the artery to prevent the spread of cancer cells. This targeted approach helps maximize the effectiveness of chemotherapy while minimizing its side effects on the rest of the body. During the procedure, tiny beads or particles are injected into the artery to block the flow of blood to the tumor, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. At the same time, chemotherapy drugs are released directly into the tumor, destroying cancer cells and shrinking the tumor size. Hepatic artery chemoembolization offers a promising option for patients with liver cancer, providing a potential for improved outcomes and extended survival rates.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation is a cutting-edge medical procedure that utilizes advanced technology to treat various conditions, including liver tumors, lung tumors, and certain heart rhythm disorders. This minimally invasive technique involves the precise placement of an electrode through sound or CT scan guidance. Once properly positioned, radiofrequency energy is delivered through the electrode, generating heat that effectively heats and destroys the abnormal tissue. The procedure offers several advantages, such as minimal pain and scarring, shorter recovery times, and reduced risk compared to traditional surgical methods. It provides patients with a safe and effective option for treatment, offering potential relief from symptoms and improved overall health outcomes. Radiofrequency ablation has shown great promise in improving patient outcomes, providing not only immediate relief but also extended disease-free intervals and improved long-term survival rates. With its remarkable benefits, this innovative procedure is revolutionizing the field of medical intervention.


University Radiology boasts numerous women’s imaging specialists, conducting numerous women's imaging exams annually. Many medical professionals assert that early diagnosis often leads to successful breast cancer treatment.

Mammography, crucial in detecting breast cancers early, can reveal changes in the breast two years before detection by a patient or physician. University Radiology physicians also have proficiency in Breast Tomosynthesis.

Important Information

  • Current guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) recommend screening mammography every year for women, beginning at age 40.
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) adds that women who have had breast cancer and those who are at increased risk due to a genetic history of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and about the frequency of screening.
  • Mammography is used to aid in the diagnosis of breast diseases in women. Screening mammography can assist your physician in the detection of disease even if you have no complaints or symptoms.
  • Initial mammographic images themselves are not always enough to determine the existence of a benign or malignant disease with certainty. If a finding or spot seems suspicious, your radiologist may recommend further diagnostic studies.

Diagnostic mammography is used to evaluate a patient with abnormal clinical findings, such as a breast lump or lumps that have been found by the woman or her doctor. Diagnostic mammography may also be done after an abnormal screening mammography in order to determine the cause of the area of concern on the screening exam.Recently, MRI of the Breast was shown to be beneficial in patients at a high risk of developing breast cancer. This imaging procedure can provide information that cannot be assessed with mammography and ultrasound and should be discussed with your doctor to determine if you fit patient criteria for a MRI of the Breast.

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