Diagnostic radiology, also known as medical imaging, is the technique of creating visual representations of the inside of a human body for medical analysis. Diagnostic radiology is a vital tool in the diagnosis of a disease. The most common forms of diagnostic radiology are radiography, CT scanning, sonography (ultrasound), and magnetic resonance imagining (MRI).
Radiography is basically the use of X-rays, used to evaluate bone and soft tissue in the human body. Fluoroscopy and angiography are subsets of radiography. Fluoroscopy involves connecting a fluorescent screen to a closed-circuit television in order to view internal structures. Angiography is used to evaluate blood vessels, in which a substance, known as contrast media, is injected or swallowed in order to highlight either the circulatory or gastrointestinal system.
CT scanning combines X-rays with computer technology in order to produce three-dimensional images of the body’s structures. The downside to CT scanning is greater exposure of the patient to ionizing radiation. Sonography, or ultrasound, uses high-frequency sound waves in order to visualize soft tissues inside the body. Ultrasound is routinely used during pregnancy in order to monitor the development of the fetus, but has many other uses. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, employs strong magnetic fields in order to align the atomic nuclei in the body, and provides the best internal images.