An image is produced by means of a small amount of x-radiation passing through the body to create an image on an image receptor. The difference in how the x-radiation is attenuated by the tissues creates the image.
There are also times when real-time imaging, such as portable fluoroscopy, is needed at the patient's bedside, either for the assistance of duo tube placement, visualization during bronchoscopy, or during a surgical procedure such as hardware insertion or removal.
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
DEXA or Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry measures bone density by using small amounts of x-radiation and a sophisticated computer system. Once a scan has been completed, the computer system converts the data into numbers that indicate bone density levels. DEXA is considered the imaging choice for accurate diagnosis of osteoporosis.
Mammography is an imaging modality that has become one of the most critical and demanding x-ray examinations. This modality is used in breast cancer screening and requires the most accurate and careful positioning of the breast to insure that a high quality, diagnostic image is obtained. Mammographers must obtain separate licensure and are highly experienced.
Ultrasound works on the same principle as sonar. High-frequency sound waves are sent into the body and bounce back from soft tissue as echoes. These echoes are interpreted and electronically processed into an image displayed on a high-resolution monitor. Its popularity is due to its non-invasive nature, diagnostic accuracy and it uses no ionizing radiation.
Nuclear Medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials or radiopharmaceuticals to diagnose and treat disease. Gamma or PET cameras are used in conjunction with computers to form images that provide data and information about the area of the body being imaged.
COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY (CT)
Where conventional radiography is limited in its diagnostic ability, especially when viewing soft tissue areas of the body; Computed Tomography (CT) is a radiographic examination that would display a section of anatomy as a thin, three-dimensional, tomographic image and uses computer programs to allow visualization of differences in soft tissue densities in different planar perspectives.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
MRI is an imaging modality that uses powerful magnetic fields, radio waves, and a sophisticated computer system to visualize differences in tissue densities of a patient and provides a diagnosis that would have only been obtained through surgery.
Radiation Therapy uses brief high doses of radiation to treat and kill cancer cells located at specific areas of the body. Radiation dose is tailored to the individual's needs, is limited, and delivered over a designated time period.