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CT Scanning


Computed Tomography (CT) imaging uses X-rays in conjunction with computing algorithms to image the body. An X-ray generating tube opposite an X-ray detector (or detectors) in a ring-shaped apparatus rotate around a patient producing a computer generated cross-sectional image (tomogram). Iodinated contrast agents are used for enhanced delineation of anatomy and angiography. Once the raw data is collected, CT images can be reconstructed into two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in multiple planes.

PetCure Oncology at VRIC uses a GE LightSpeed VCT 32-slice helical/spiral scanner, one of the fastest and best available in the region. A short (typically 5-10 minute) general anesthesia is used because the patient needs to remain motionless for the duration of the scan. When indicated and appropriate, a biopsy or FNA can be performed on diseased tissue under the same anesthesia.

When complex radiosurgery planning is necessary for cancer treatment, CT imaging is used because it provides information about where the cancer is located and surrounding vital structures. Precise localization of normal and abnormal tissues is important so that the targeted radiosurgery beam destroys abnormal cancer tissue, while sparing/minimizing normal tissues.

MRI Scanning

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields to align spinning atomic nuclei (usually hydrogen protons) within body tissues, then uses a radio signal to disturb the axis of rotation of these nuclei and observes the radiofrequency signal generated as the nuclei return to their baseline states. The radio signals are collected by small antennae, called coils, placed near the area of interest. An advantage of MRI is its ability to produce images in axial, dorsal, sagittal and multiple oblique planes with ease.

PetCure Oncology at VRIC allows veterinarians access to advanced cross-sectional imaging for their patients in an environment specifically designed for pets. Our equipment includes a 1.5 Tesla GE Signa Advantage MRI, which is one of the highest field strength MRI units available for animals in the state of New Jersey. We also use specialized, MRI-compatible patient monitoring and anesthesia delivery equipment. Sevoflurane gas anesthesia is used for rapid anesthetic recovery and to minimize anesthetic complications for increased overall patient safety.


PetCure Oncology at VRIC provides veterinarians access to ultrasound performed by a board-certified radiologist. Results are relayed to the referring veterinarian the same day the ultrasound is performed. Additional diagnostics, such as biopsy and fine needle aspirate, can be performed when indicated and appropriate.

Equipment Maintenance

The imaging equipment available at PetCure Oncology at VRIC was purchased from GE and is maintained in top working condition under service contract with Oxford Instruments OiS Technicians, who also provide service in human imaging facilities in the area.

Image Interpretation

A board-certified veterinary radiologist is available to assist in determining the imaging modality of choice and to provide the most accurate image interpretation possible. Written results of the imaging studies are provided to the referring veterinarian managing the patient's care within 24-48 hours of the imaging study. A digital copy of the imaging study is provided to the owner at the time they pick up their pet. Digital copies of the studies are transmitted to referring veterinarians and hospitals when requested.