Medical imaging procedures include:
- Plain film or digital X-ray imaging
The older ways of capturing an x-ray involves an intermediate cassette. At our hospital we use the contemporary way of digital or plain film radiography. In this procedure, x-ray–sensitive plates are used directly in the machine to capture data during the patient examination. This is then immediately transferred to a computer system giving almost immediate access to the doctor.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
While an x-ray works to capture inside images of the body, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) goes even deeper. It forms pictures of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body using scanners that have strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves. These pass through the body to generate images of the organs inside.
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
A computer-processed combination of many X-rays is known as a CT scan or computed tomography scan. It uses the measurements taken from different angles to create a cross-sectional image of specific areas of the body part. This allows seeing inside the body without cutting.
Fluoroscopy is a process in which an X-ray beam is passed through the body, and the final image on the computer shows a continuous X-ray image on a monitor, much like an X-ray movie. This helps get an in-depth understanding of the patient’s body.
- Breast imaging
This is a subspecialty of diagnostic radiology which includes mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI and digital imaging of the breast. The most common is mammography that is used to detect breast cancer via a low-dose X-ray. This helps check for cancer in advance, before any symptoms are evident.
- Nuclear medicine procedures
This is a process in which radioactive materials also known as radiopharmaceuticals are used for diagnosis. This includes positron emission tomography [PET] and single-photon emission computed tomography [SPECT] scans.
- Imaging of the colon
To get a complete picture of the colon, virtual CT colonography and barium enema are done. Computed tomography (CT) colonography, the former, uses special x-ray equipment to examine the large intestine for cancer and growths called polyps. In case of the latter, a small tube is inserted a short distance into the rectum and is inflated with gas. During this time CT images of the colon and the rectum are taken.
Ultrasonography is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency waves to produce an image for medical analysis. It is used to create an image of structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, and internal organs.