A diagnostic imaging exam is a procedure performed to confirm or determine the presence of a disease or condition in a patient who suspected of having the disease. In most cases, a diagnostic imaging exam follows the patient reporting symptoms of a disease, or is based on the results of other medical tests.
- Most imaging exams are diagnostic in nature
A screening imaging exam is a procedure used to detect or predict the presence of disease in a patient who may not currently manifest signs of the disease, but has an increased risk of the disease, such as hereditary factors or increased age.
- Screening mammography is an example of a screening imaging exam. Most experts counsel that women start receiving annual screening mammography exams by the age of 50, if not younger.
- A physicians order is usually not necessary to receive a screening mammography exam. The exam can be scheduled directly with the imaging facility without an order.