Advanced imaging for complex conditions

The Radiology team at Mayo Clinic is accelerating unprecedented imaging advances in the practice and delivery of health care.

People who turn to Mayo Clinic for help with serious or complex health challenges benefit from the exceptional care, advanced technology and expertise of the Department of Radiology. Radiologists are doctors who specialize in using imaging technology to diagnose and treat people with a wide range of difficult-to-diagnose and complex conditions.

Collaborative care, focused on you

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest radiology practices in the world, with nearly 400 radiologists and 30 physicists across its campuses in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota; as well as the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Mayo Clinic radiologists work closely with many other medical and surgical specialists to make sure you get exactly the care you need. Depending on your situation, your care team may include radiologists and other doctors, including those trained in cardiovascular medicine, urology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, otorhinolaryngology (ENT)/head and neck surgery, hematology, oncology, gastroenterology and hepatology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, or vascular surgery.

Radiologists and physicists work with skilled technologists and nurses to efficiently provide imaging services. This means your test results are usually available quickly, and appointments are scheduled in coordination. Highly specialized experts are working together for you. What might take weeks or even months to accomplish elsewhere can typically be done in a matter of days at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic Health System clinics, hospitals and health care facilities serve more than 60 communities in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These sites bring Mayo Clinic radiology expertise and individualized care to their communities.

Mayo Clinic radiologists use advanced imaging technology, which is key to ensuring you receive an accurate diagnosis to guide your treatment. Many of these innovative imaging methods are available at very few medical centers. In recent years, Mayo Clinic installed a 7-tesla MRI scanner and a dual-source photon-counting CT scanner at its campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Both were the first in North America approved for clinical use. The clinic has also added a 7-tesla MRI scanner at its campus in Florida, and plans to add a photon-counting CT scanner there.

With its increased magnetic field strength, the 7-tesla scanner is a transformational tool. It noninvasively reaches deep into the human body, allowing doctors to see what was previously invisible. And the photon-counting CT scanners have many advantages over standard CT technology, such as the ability to see very fine anatomic detail, to image the heart at stop-motion speeds and to reduce radiation doses. Some CT scans of the chest performed in children use no more dose than a traditional chest X-ray.

Some imaging technologies are the result of long-standing research and development programs by Mayo Clinic radiology scientists. These include the photon-counting CT scanner and a compact 3-tesla MRI system for imaging the brain.

Nearly 50 years ago, Mayo Clinic installed the first commercial CT scanner and became the first medical institution outside of London — where CT was invented — to offer CT exams to patients. Today, Mayo Clinic's Department of Radiology continues its leadership role in the use of advanced medical imaging to see, understand, treat and prevent disease.

A few more of the clinic's many imaging milestones include:

  • The first 64-slice CT scanner
  • The first dual-source CT scanner
  • The first photon-counting-detector CT scanner for research purposes
  • Development of magnetic resonance elastography — a noninvasive technology with uses such as evaluating liver fibrosis without a biopsy
  • The world's first compact 3-tesla MRI scanner, which will expand patient access to much-needed MRI exams around the world
  • Development of molecular breast imaging — a supplemental technology to mammograms that can improve detection of tumors in dense breast tissue
  • The first U.S. institution approved to manufacture and administer C-11 choline injections for choline PET/CT, which can help identify recurrent prostate cancer
  • One of the first medical institutions to install a PET/MRI scanner with new PET detector technology

Innovative therapies are a key part of the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology. For instance, ablation is a minimally invasive needle-based therapy used to treat certain cancers. The Department of Radiology is also a leader in the field of nuclear medicine therapy (theranostics). This approach uses radioactive molecules as a drug to target tumor cells. Mayo Clinic is one of a very few medical centers in the United States that offers an FDA-approved theranostic for treatment of certain cancers.

Throughout Mayo Clinic's campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System, radiology technology includes at least 60 CT scanners, 80 MRI scanners, 60 breast-imaging systems, 5 molecular breast-imaging systems, 315 general radiography systems, 180 ultrasound scanners, 55 nuclear medicine/cardiology systems, 15 PET/CT scanners, 3 PET/MRI scanners and 35 vascular interventional/special procedure suites. In addition, intraoperative MRI allows your surgical team to view real-time images in order to be more precise.

A team dedicated to your safety monitors how these advanced imaging technologies are used for your diagnosis and treatment, while at the same time reducing scan times when possible and enhancing comfort.