In celebration of World Radiography Day on 8th November, we take a look at the major types of Medical Imaging utilised in South Australia hospitals. Radiography is defined as the use of imaging techniques to view the internal body for diagnosis or therapy.
Perhaps the most common imaging is the x-ray which uses electromagnetic radiation passed through the body to produce an image. It is frequently used to diagnose injury, such as broken bones, and determining problems with internal organs. The X-ray is used in CT (computerized tomography) scans which capture more detailed internal images, and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer, among other procedures.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) differs in that it utilizes magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of bodily processes and anatomy. It provides higher contrast than the x-ray or CT, and is generally more detailed.
The ultrasound utilizes sound waves to capture images. Also known as sonography, it is commonly used in pregnancy to monitor the development of the foetus. It is also widely used across medical specialities including Cardiology, Gastroenterology, and Gynaecology, and as a guide in biopsy and needle placement. Therapeutic ultrasound focusses on the soft tissues, improving circulation and pain levels.
Written by Jasmin Clark, CALHN Health Museum.