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Venturing Inside the Body with Medical Imaging Technology

written by: Vasanth•edited by: Paul Arnold•updated: 9/29/2011

Doctors have hi-tech ways of looking inside your body to find out what's going on. Discover the differences between X-Rays, CAT Scans, MRIs, and other related imaging technologies with this guide to medical imaging.

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    Medical imaging reveals key information about the state and health of various parts of the body, including bones, muscles, organs, blood vessels, and nerves. The technology can be used to diagnose a condition, evaluate the progression of a disease, or determine the effectiveness of a treatment plan. Some of the common imaging scans available to doctors include X-rays, CAT scans (computerized axial tomography), and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

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    History of the CT Scanner

    A CT scan, also known as a CAT scan or Computerized Axial Tomography, uses X-rays to image the body. Unlike a standard X-ray exam, CT scans produce several images of a region. Each image represents a small cross-section of the area that was scanned. Through computer processing, the cross-sections are combined to form a detailed three dimensional image.

    Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry

    Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry reveals the density of bones, which is useful for diagnosing osteoporosis. The bone scan consists of two beams of X-rays, each with a different intensity. Each beam is absorbed by the bone and the surrounding tissue. To determine the bone density, the difference in absorption between the bone and surrounding tissue is calculated.

    What is Hysterosalpingogram?

    Hysterosalpingogram is a diagnostic tool that examines the uterus and fallopian tubes. It uses X-rays and contrast fluoroscopy to generate an image. The procedure can identify the presence of tumors, blockages, or other abnormalities. Find out how to prepare for this procedure and its potential side effects.

    Prep for Abdominal CT Overview

    An abdominal CT scan provides information about organs and tissue in the abdominal region. It can reveal several conditions including kidney stones and tumors. Preparation for the scan involves a number of steps including restricting diet. This article contains information about what to expect before and during the procedure.

    Information on CT scan of the Chest for Pleural Effusion

    Pleural effusion is a condition characterized by a build up of fluid in the lungs. Find out how the test is performed and learn what the results mean.

    Strengthening Bone Density Assessment – Xtreme-CT Scanner & FRAX

    Discover the features of another bone scan designed to evaluate the strength of bones. The Xtreme-CT scanner, in combination with the Fracture Risk Assessment, provides a comprehensive picture of bone health. It uses X-rays to image the bone and a risk assessment to determine your probability of breaking a bone.

    What Does an MRI Machine Look Like?

    Magnets, shims and coils are just some of many components that make up the complex piece of hi-tech wizardry that is a magnetic resonance imaging machine.

    Types of MRI Scans

    Spin-spin relaxation time scan and spin-lattice relaxation time scan are just some of the different types of MRI scan that are used to generate biological images.

    What an MRI Scan can 'See' Inside the Human Body

    MRI uses radio waves and a magnetic field to image the body. An MRI scan provides information which may not be apparent with a CT scan. Some conditions which are revealed through an MRI include aneurysms, bleeding in the brain, nerve damage, arthritis, and torn ligaments. Find out more about the function of MRI machines and their applications.

    The Differences between a CT scan and MRI

    A CT scan and an MRI scan both provide images of the body and help doctors determine if something is wrong. How are these two medical imaging technologies similar and different? This article compares and contrasts both technologies.

    What Can a Pelvis MRI Show That CT Scan Can’t?

    A CT scan can provide a detailed image of the pelvic region, but an MRI scan may reveal additional information. Discover the benefits of each scan, including the types of tissues that are imaged and the conditions each one may detect.

    What is a PET Scan?

    Another imaging tool available to doctors is the PET scan, or Positron Emission Tomography. It images parts of the body by detecting radioactivity from a compound that is introduced into the body. Discover which medical conditions a PET scan can detect and find out how to prepare for it.

    Positron Emission Tomography Principles

    A PET scan looks for gamma rays from radiotracers, such as fluorodeoxyglucose. A camera or sensor detects the radioactivity and the computer processes the image.

    Ultrasound to See Inside the Body

    Ever since naval sonar technology was used in the 1940s to detect gall stones, doctors have relied on ultrasound techniques to see what's going on under the skin, particularly during pregnancy.

    Types of Medical Imaging

    A quick recap of the history and uses of modern imaging techniques.

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