Diagnostic:

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

Screening:

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.
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