What is Radiology?
Radiology is a branch of medicine that uses imaging technology to diagnose and treat disease. Radiology may be divided into two different areas, diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Doctors who specialize in radiology are called radiologists.
Radiology is used for a wide range of conditions, and is classified depending on the type of radiology and the exact imaging test used. The various imaging exams include:
Radiographs: X-rays to look at bones, the chest or the abdomen.
CT (Computed Tomography): A CT captures multiple x-ray angles of the patient using a doughnut-shaped machine, then creates computer-processed images.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves with computer processing to create images.
Mammograms: Specially powered x-rays that look at breast tissues.
Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to create moving images that display on a monitor, commonly used for echocardiograms and examining the womb during pregnancy.
Fluoroscopy: X-rays that make moving images of the body in real time. This imaging is crucial for many procedures, especially those involving the gastrointestinal tract.
Nuclear medicine: These are short-acting radioactive substances that generate light from bodily processes. A camera collects the light, so a computer can process it and develop an image.
Joshua Holliday, MD
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