X-ray technology lets doctors see straight through human tissue to examine broken bones, cavities and swallowed objects. Modified X-ray procedures can be used to examine softer tissue, such as the lungs, blood vessels or the intestines. The X-ray camera uses the same film technology as an ordinary camera, but X-ray light sets off the chemical reaction instead of visible light.
Diagnostic ultrasound, also known as medical sonography or ultrasonography, uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of your body. By sending sound waves into the body and measuring the returning sound waves, the ultrasound machine is able to convert the sound echoes into a picture. In addition to producing an image, ultrasound technology can also produce audible sounds of blood flow, enabling medical professionals to use both sounds and visuals to assess a patient’s health. While most commonly identified with use during pregnancy, ultrasound is also used widely by virtually all medical specialties, including surgeons, to visualize muscles, tendons and many internal organs within the body. Ultrasound is now established as a critical tool both for routine and urgent care diagnostics.
Medical imaging has revolutionized the practice of medicine and medical imaging technology itself continues to advance rapidly.
Continually offering new life-saving capabilities and new hope for winning the war against so many devastating diseases.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technology that uses radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, joints, tumors, areas of infection, and more. These very high quality pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased soft tissues of the body, making it especially useful for a wide range of different types of imaging, including neurological and musculoskeletal. If necessary, a contrast agent may be used to help your doctor to see the MRI image more clearly.
Computed Tomography (CT), also commonly referred to as a CAT scan, is a medical imaging method that provides detailed 3-D images of areas inside the body. CT uses a thin beam of x-rays to take a series of cross-sectional pictures of specific organs or areas inside the body from multiple different angles. The CT’s computer then analyzes the pictures and constructs a three dimensional image of the area of interest. During some CT scans, a contrast medium, or “dye”, is used to outline blood vessels or highlight organs of the body so that they can be seen more easily.
Fluoroscopy is the method that provides real-time X ray imaging that is especially useful for guiding a variety of diagnostic and interventional procedures. The ability of fluoroscopy to display motion is provided by a continuous series of images produced at a maximum rate of 25-30 complete images per second. This is similar to the way conventional television or video transmits images.
Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays (usually around 30 kVp) to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications.
- Like all X-rays, mammograms use doses of ionizing radiation to create images. Radiologists then analyze the images for any abnormal findings. It is normal to use lower-energy X-rays (typically Mo-K) than those used for radiography of bones.
- Ultrasound, ductography, positron emission mammography (PEM), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are adjuncts to mammography. Ultrasound is typically used for further evaluation of masses found on mammography or palpable masses not seen on mammograms.
- Ductograms are still used in some institutions for evaluation of bloody nipple discharge when the mammogram is non-diagnostic.
- MRI can be useful for further evaluation of questionable findings as well as for screening pre-surgical evaluation in patients with known breast cancer to detect any additional lesions that might change the surgical approach, for instance from breast-conserving lumpectomy to mastectomy.