RADIOLOGY beyond X-RAYS
Radiology is the study and use of imaging technology like X-rays and other radiation to diagnose and treat disease.
Radiology, today is is no longer limited to the use of X-rays, and now uses advanced imaging with high frequency sound waves, magnetic fields, and radioactive techniques..
• Ultrasound - see soft tissue structures of the body in real time - quality produced using ultrasound is very dependent on the operator performing the scan and is also limited by its restriction of not being able to image through air (lungs, bowel) or bony structures.
• MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - MRI scans are the best soft tissue contrast of all the imaging methods. MRI is now an essential tool in musculo-skeletal radiology and neuro-radiology.
• Nuclear medicine imaging involves the the patient taking radiopharmaceuticals made of substances with affinity for certain body tissues marked with a radioactive tracer.
• Teleradiology is the transmission of radiographic images from one location to another for interpretation by a radiologist. Good for emergency operations. Can access services in other time zones e.g. midnight in England is 10 in the morning in Australia thus allowing 24 hr service. At the sending station, plain radiographs are passed through a digitizing machine before transmission, while CT scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds and Nuclear Medicine scans can be sent directly as they are already in digital form.