World Radiography Day

In celebration of World Radiography Day on the 8th November, we take a look at the major types of Medical Imaging utilised in South Australian hospitals.

Radiography is defined as the use of imaging techniques to view the internal body for diagnosis or therapy.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Department Radiology, ca 1980.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Department Radiology, 2022.

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 for determining problems with internal organs. The X-ray is used in CT (Computerized Tomography) scans which capture more detailed internal images, as well as Radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer, among other procedures.

X-ray being taken in the Dental Department, 1950’s.

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.

MRI in progress, TQEH Radiology.

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 to improve circulation and pain levels.

Impulsaphon portable ultrasound therapy device, 1963.
Ultrasound technician and patient, ca 1990’s.

Written by Jasmin Clark, CALHN Health Museum.