Radiology is the specialty of directing medical imaging technologies to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases. Radiography involves the use of x-rays to produce radiographs. Today, following extensive training, radiologists also direct other imaging technologies such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Medicine to diagnose or treat disease. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More..)
Medical ultrasonography uses ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) to visualize soft tissue structures in the body in real time. No ionizing radiation is involved, but the quality of the images obtained using ultrasound is highly dependent on the skill of the person (ultrasonographer) performing the exam. Ultrasound is also limited by its inability to image through air (lungs, bowel loops) or bone. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...). See the ACVR Ultrasound Position Statement.
Computed Tomography (CT) imaging uses X-rays in conjunction with computing algorithms to image the body. In CT, an X-ray generating tube opposite an X-ray detector (or detectors) in a ring shaped apparatus rotate around a patient producing a computer generated cross-sectional image (tomogram). Radiocontrast agents are often used with CT for enhanced delineation of anatomy and angiography. With computer manipulation, CT images can be reconstructed into 3D images. Faster scanning times in modern equipment has been associated with increased utilization. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses strong magnetic fields to align spinning atomic nuclei (usually hydrogen protons) within body tissues, then uses a radio signal to disturb the axis of rotation of these nuclei and observes the radio frequency signal generated as the nuclei return to their baseline states. An advantage of MRI is its ability to produce images in axial, coronal, sagittal and multiple oblique planes with equal ease. MRI scans give the best soft tissue contrast of all the imaging modalities. With advances in scanning speed and spatial resolution, and improvements in computer 3D algorithms and hardware, MRI has become an essential tool in musculoskeltal radiology and neuroradiology. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...)
Nuclear medicine imaging involves the administration into the patient of radiopharmaceuticals consisting of substances with affinity for certain body tissues labeled with radioactive tracer. The most commonly used tracers are Technetium-99m, Iodine-123, Iodine-131 and Xenon-133. The heart, lungs, thyroid, liver, gallbladder, and bones are commonly evaluated for particular conditions using these techniques. While anatomical detail is limited in these studies, nuclear medicine is useful in displaying physiological function. The excretory function of the kidneys, iodine concentrating ability of the thyroid, blood flow to heart muscle, etc. can be measured. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...)
Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is the medical use of ionizing radiation as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells. Radiotherapy is commonly used for the treatment of malignant tumors (cancer), and may be used as the primary therapy. It is also common to combine radiotherapy with surgery and/or chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy. The precise treatment intent will depend on the tumor type, location, and stage, as well as the general health of the patient. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Read More...)