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Medical Imaging(1)

UpDate:2015-01-29 15:15:29

Various imaging tests are available for diagnostic purposes. What are the different types of medical imaging?

Among the wide array of technologies in modern medicine, medical imaging is a major advancement. The ability to take pictures of the human body has many useful clinical applications. Different modalities of medical imaging have emerged over the years, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. For any patient who needs his or her body visualized, doctors select the most appropriate imaging studies in order to deliver the best care.

X-ray Imaging

X-rays are waves that have a relatively high frequency along the electromagnetic spectrum. They are absorbed or transmitted by different body tissues in varying amounts, producing different shades of black and white on an x-ray image. In general, bone appears white, soft tissue appears gray, and air appears black.
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The basic type of x-ray imaging is plain radiography. This involves an medical x-ray machine aimed at the patient's body with a recording plate positioned behind the region of interest. Once the machine delivers its radiation, the image is captured on the plate. This allows a physician to assess the bones for fractures, the abdomen for bowel obstruction, and the breasts for signs of cancer ( mammography ), among other applications.
Certain medical x-ray studies involve contrast dye to enhance the image, such as visualization of certain arteries (angiography) and the spinal cord (myelography). In such cases, x-ray is delivered as fluoroscopy, constantly delivering radiation to produce a real-time set of images similar to a video. This ensures that an optimal image can be taken.

X-rays are also used in computed tomography (CT). This type of study involves a patient who lies on a sliding table of a CT scanner and moves slowly through a circular rim where x-rays are delivered in multiple directions. A nearby computer combines the data of each x-ray shot and forms two-dimensional slices of the patient's body. CT scans allow clinicians to assess parts of the body that are otherwise not visible on plain radiography.


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