Diagnostic radiology refers to non-invasive imaging scans to diagnose a patient. The tests and equipment used sometimes involve low doses of radiation to create highly detailed images of an area.
Diagnostic radiology can be used to identify a wide range of health issues. Broken bones, heart conditions, blood clots, and gastrointestinal conditions are just a few of the problems that can be identified by diagnostic imaging. Doctors rely on the test results of diagnostic radiology to determine a proper treatment plan for a patient.
Clinicians can use diagnostic radiology to monitor how the body is responding to current treatment. Diagnostic radiology can also screen for diseases such as breast cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
- X-ray – a type of radiation called electromagnetic waves. X-ray imaging creates pictures of the inside of your body. The images show the parts of your body in different shades of black and white. This is because different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation.
- Ultrasound – A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans – A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scans – A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue.