highlands medical center
 Imaging Center - CT Scan, MRI, XRay, Ultrasound

Highlands Imaging Center

At Highlands Imaging Center, our ability to see through you is a good thing. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a medical necessity, and sometimes, a critical factor that can mean the difference in your short-term and long-term well being.

Our sophisticated diagnostic technology allows our technologists to capture vivid pictures. In turn, our well-trained Radiologists put their education, training and experience to use to see through you and help diagnose the root of your illness or injury.

Whether you visit Highlands Imaging Center for CT Scans, MRI Scans, Nuclear Medicine Scans, Ultrasound / Sonograms or X-Rays, 
you’ll be glad that we can see through you.

CT Scan

CT technology allows the physician to see and analyze detailed internal structures in the body. The Vital Imaging Computer Workstation, a component of the Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice scanner, allows the Radiologist to reconstruct and view organs in additional planes and three-dimensional images. This allows the Radiologist to locate plaque in coronary vessels and to "fly through" colons as an alternative to colonoscopy. This CT scanner also performs lung screening exams. These non-invasive tests can detect early warning signs of lung cancer. We were the first facility in Alabama to offer the level of technology provided by the Toshiba Aquilion 16-slice CT system.

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other type of cancer. Screening can detect cancer before symptoms develop and the disease spreads. A lung cancer screen is a painless low dose CT scan which scans the body and uses low doses of radiation to take pictures of the lungs. The scan only takes 5 minutes and is recommended for people who are at high risk for lung cancer.  Highlands Medical Center has teamed up with Clear View Cancer Institute to help you get this valuable, early-detection screening, provide follow-up services and more.

Those at the highest risk for lung cancer are ages 55-80 who are current or former smokers with a 30 or more pack year history.

pack year history = number of packs per day X the number of years smoked

Additional criteria for those at high risk include people who are 50-54 with a 20 pack-year history AND a history of one or more of the following:

   Radon or occupational carcinogen exposure
   Family history of lung cancer
   COPD or pulmonary fibrosis
   Personal history of cancer or lymphoma


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs, tissues and skeletal system in your body.  MRI provides images of certain body parts that cannot be imaged any other way.

MRI does not use x-rays, and the magnetic fields it uses are not known to be harmful.  It produces two-or-three-dimensional images of what is going on inside your body.  The images produced are very precise.  MRI is extremely useful in diagnosing tumors, nervous system disorders, and various types of cancer and organ diseases in different parts of the body.  The MRI scanner is a large, tube-shaped magnet, and when inside it gives you the feeling of lying in a small cave.  During the exam you will be able to communicate with the technologist.  You will not feel anything during the scan, but you will hear some loud knocking and grating sounds from the machine. 

Certain types of metallic implants in the body may prevent you from being able to enter the magnetic field.  You should inform the technologist about the implants during your evaluation before the scan.   

Nuclear Medicine 

Nuclear medicine scans use a radioactive substance to see structures and functions inside your body.  It is the opposite of x-ray, in that a small amount of radioactive drug is injected and collects in the body area to be studied. A gamma camera is then used to image the area, and a computer processes the information.  Nuclear medicine scans help doctors detect tumors, fractures and issues in the gall bladder, thyroid, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, bones and more. 

Ultrasound / Sonogram

Highlands Imaging Center was the first facility in North Alabama to introduce ultrasound services.  Since then the ultrasound equipment has been replaced and upgraded several times in order to maintain state-of-the-art capabilities for our patients.  We have two Canon APLIO Reliance systems providing enhanced diagnostic imaging for your ultrasound exams.


X-rays help physicians diagnose broken bones, diagnose lung diseases, examine the intestinal tract and other internal body systems.  Routine x-rays include x-rays of the skull, chest, abdomen and extremities that do not require injections or contrast material of any kind.  Other common x-ray procedures are performed to evaluate joints, check for gallstones, locate cysts, drain an abscess and more.