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5 Common Radiology Tests Explained

Radiology involves various imaging procedures to diagnose, screen, and treat conditions. Radiologists are doctors who specialize in these tests.

Three main purposes are served by radiography tests. First, radiography tests are used to detect abnormalities or injuries. Usually, it only requires two or three different images. They can also be used to diagnose certain diseases and monitor the body's response to specific treatments. This is done through a 3-D image. Third, interventional radiology is used to guide other procedures and treatments.

Radiological tests can be classified into different types to satisfy these requirements. Each is unique in the way it works, how it's used, and what the image will be.

Here are five of the most common radiological exams that doctors order.

1. X-Rays

It is the radiological procedure that is most frequently performed. The test is painless and non-invasive. The electromagnetic radiation is used to detect minor anomalies. Modern x-rays are more efficient. One side has a radiation-sensitive plate, while the other is a source of rays. It provides quick results and helps with imaging.

  • The Testing Protocol

The patient will need to position the part of the body that needs to be scanned between the source of radiation and the radiation plate. Doctors may ask patients to turn or move to get different angles. This takes about 10 to 15 min.

  • What is the purpose of the test?

Simple x rays are used both for diagnostic and screening purposes. It is used to:

  1. You can detect ligament tears, hairline fractures and lumps on certain areas.
  2. Diagnose conditions like arthritis, digestive problems, and infection
  3. Track the severity of a patient's injury and its effects on their body.
  4. Mammograms are used to diagnose breast cancer and screen for it.
  5. Live imaging using barium to contrast hard and softer tissues, joints and blood flow (fluoroscopy/barium suck radiology).

2. Ultrasound

Sonography (also known as ultrasound) is another widely used radiological procedure. The high-frequency waves are used to detect the different structures within the body. This test is safe for women who are pregnant because it does not emit radiation. Ultrasound is a minimally-invasive procedure that can also be noninvasive. This test focuses on organs and soft tissues.

  • The Examination Process

The doctor places an ultrasound probe or transducer on the part of the body that is being treated. The doctor moves the probe to see the whole body. Endoscopic ultrasound involves inserting the probe into the body via the patient's rectum or mouth depending on what part is being studied. It can take between 25 minutes and an hour to complete the procedure.

  • What is the purpose of the test?

Ultrasound can be used to diagnose and treat. Ultrasound is used to:

  1. Breast lumps can be detected, as can joint inflammation and problems with the gall bladder or prostate.
  2. Find out if you have cancer or inflammation in your digestive tract
  3. How to track the pregnancy progression
  4. Guide the biopsies

3. CT/CAT scan

A computerised Axial Tomography uses ionising radiations in order to produce a cross-sectional view of the entire body. This non-invasive technique helps to study nearly all body structures.

  • The Testing Process

The patient is positioned on a donut-shaped table. A scanning tube rotating in the center creates an image of the patient. The scanner has a transmitter that allows the patient to communicate with the doctor if they are feeling nervous or uncomfortable. Imaging takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

  • What is the purpose of the test?

Doctors often order a CT scan if they find abnormalities in other tests. It can be used for radiology and diagnostic purposes, such as:

  1. How to determine the severity level of a fracture, or traumatic accident
  2. The detection of tumours
  3. Infections and cardiovascular diseases: a diagnostic guide
  4. Guided biopsies

4. MRI scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is very similar to a CT scan. It uses magnetic fields rather than ionising radio waves. The test is applicable to almost any body part or condition.

It is considered safer due to the lack of radiation. The CAT scan takes a little longer.

  • Examining the process Original: The experiment was conducted in a laboratory Paraphrased: Research was done in a lab setting.

The patient must lie down on the moving table. The scanner sends magnetic wave to create the 3-D image. The scanner is loud as it works. If the patient is in discomfort, they can contact the doctor using the transmitter.

  • What is the purpose of the test?

MRI scans are used to diagnose a variety of medical conditions. This includes:

  1. Spinal cord disease
  2. Soft tissues such as blood vessels, organs or tendons can cause problems.
  3. Multiple sclerosis, strokes and aneurysms

5. PET Scan

Positron emission tomography is a method that differs from the others. This test involves injecting a radioactive substance, also known as a "radiotracer", into the body of the patient. PET scanners measure the tracer's transmission at a cellular-level. This radiography test is used to study abnormalities in the body and how different systems function.

  • The Testing Steps

Radiotracers can be injected into veins, inhaled gases or consumed as a radiotracer-containing mixture. The organ system or part of the body to be studied will determine how it is done. The scan is finished after about one hour. The entire procedure could take as long as 2 hours. The radiotracers can be introduced to the body of the patient via injections into veins, breathing gases or drinking radiotracer-containing mixtures.

  • What is the purpose of the test?

PET scans are a very efficient way to perform diagnostic imaging. It can be used to diagnose

  1. malignancy
  2. Cardiovascular diseases
  3. Alzheimer's Disease
  4. Parkinson's Disease
  5. digestive tract diseases
  6. seizures
  7. seizure disorder

The Bottom line

Radiology tests form a key part of many diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The medical industry is based on the safety, simplicity, and accuracy in interpreting the results. The tests must be ordered by a qualified radiologist and only performed if they are under supervision.


  • tommyperry

    I'm Tommy Perry, a 55-year-old educational blogger who enjoys traveling. I've been writing about education since 2012, and I hope to continue doing so for as long as I can. I also enjoy cooking and spending time with family and friends.

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