In 2005, NorthCoast Imaging introduced MRI to Western Jamaica, using a 1.0 Tesla strength scanner. In August 2016, we purchased and installed a brand new 1.5Tesla state of the art MRI scanner. This new acquisition has afforded the company the opportunity to modernize and expand its diagnostic offerings to meet the imaging needs of thousands of patients and
Service offerings have also expanded to include:
NEW OPENING HOURS… ACCESS TO MORE APPOINTMENTS…:
|The new opening hours:
Monday to Thursday – 7am – 7pm
|Referrals may be sent to the office by email, Whatsapp picture or given to the patient…
The waiting time for an appointment has been reduced to allow expedited service.
“EXPANDING THE VIEW: ADVANCES IN MR IMAGING”
On January 14, 2018, NorthCoast Imaging hosted its first MRI seminar at the Grandiosa Hotel in Montego Bay.
The event was well attended and well received by Radiologists, General Practitioners, Specialist Doctors, Nurses, Radiotherapists and Radiographers from St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover, Trelawny and St. Ann.
Presenters included Consultant Radiologists Dr. Konrad Kirlew, Dr. Avia Forbes-Chang, Dr. Philippa Fung-Chung and a Lawyer Mrs. Damia Dawes-Monthrope.
Topics presented included imaging of the breast, prostate, MR angiography and ethical issues concerning
MRI contrast use and do not resuscitate orders; among others.
The seminar was sponsored by Bayer. CME credits and Ethic Hours were available.
Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
By Dr. Konrad Kirlew – MD, Consultant Radiologist
MRCP is a non-invasive imaging technique used to demonstrate the intra-hepatic and extra-hepatic bile ducts, the gallbladder, the cystic duct, the pancreatic duct and the ampulla of Vater.
No IV contrast or oral contrast is required. Thin section (1.5 mm) images are obtained which can be viewed individually, or summated into a singleimage.
The study takes 30 minutes which also includes standard MRI images of the abdomen.
COMMON INDICATIONS FOR MRCP
- Evaluation of gallstones, and possible choledocholithiasis (gallstones within the bile ducts). Depending on the symptoms and the size of the gallstones, surgeons use this study to decide on the necessity of a common bile duct exploration.
- Abnormal liver function tests, to establish a cause of biliary obstruction or cholangitis. MRCP can diagnose cholangiocarcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma and benign biliary strictures. If a stricture is present, IV contrast is often used to distinguish between malignant and benign causes.
- Following biliary or hepatic surgery, to evaluate bile leaks, biliary-enteric anastomoses etc.
- Anatomical variations of the biliary tree.
MRCP vs. ERCP
At times, MRCP can eliminate the need for Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP) which is an invasive procedure. While ERCP is costly and has a significant complication rate, it has the advantage of allowing biopsy and if indicated, interventions such as sphincterotomy.
MRCP vs. COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY (CT)
MRCP has high sensitivity (92%) and specificity (97%) for the level and presence of biliary stones, better than CT.
For differentiating between malignant and benign causes of obstruction, using only MRCP, studies show 88% sensitivity and 95% specificity.
However, standard MRI images and IV gadolinium can distinguish between benign and malignant, similar to CT
MRCP cost: 37,000. Abdominal CT scan cost: $40,000.
LIMITATIONS OF PROCEDURE
- Necessity for patient to hold relatively still and have a normal respiratory rate to prevent motion artifact.
- Inability to biopsy.
REFERENCES 1. Joshi, A., Rajpal, K., Kakadiya, K. et al. Curr Radiol Rep (2014) 2: 72. 2. MR Imaging and