Imaging and scans

Here you will learn about the different types of scans and machines you may encounter, what they do and how to prepare for them.

3 min read

Hospital imaging and scans

Looking at: 

The health of the organs inside your body.

Scleroderma can affect some of your internal organs, like your lungs. The scans tell your doctor whether any of your internal organs have been affected.1-4 

What to expect:

There are lots of different scans and machines. These include:

  • Female performing scan using sensor on male patient

    Ultrasound

    A sensor is placed on your skin so that your doctor/nurse can see, by using sound waves, how things inside your body look and move.
  • X-ray result on lung scan

    X-ray

    Creates a picture of your lungs to check their general health. It can help to wear loose, comfortable clothing without any metal zips or buttons to avoid affecting the accuracy of the x-ray.
  • Patient receiving computed tomography and high resolution CT scan

    CT and HRCT scan

    A type of x-ray that provides more detailed imaging than normal x-rays are capable of providing. During the scan, you will lie on your back on a flat bed that passes into the scanner.
  • Patient receiving MRI magnetic resonance imaging scan

    MRI scan

    Uses a magnet and radio waves to look at organs and structures inside your body. You will lie on a table that slides inside a machine. During the scan you must stay still.

None of the scans or images will hurt but some can take a few hours. Be prepared for some waiting around—take a good book, listen to some music or download your favourite podcast to help pass the time.

Understanding your results:

The results depend on the test used. Your doctor may use the images to compare against any images taken previously.

Did you know?

The CT scan is very commonly used to monitor the health of the lungs in people with scleroderma.