Clinical radiology uses three main kinds of imaging to create images of the inside of the body. These are:
- X-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans(previously called CAT scans), which use ionising radiation in the form of x-radiation to image the body
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans which measures the radio waves emitted while in an external magnetic field.
- Ultrasound, which uses high frequency sound waves.
Radiation can have potentially harmful side effects, however medical experts believe the risks from being exposed to a small amount of radiation is far outweighed by the benefits of obtaining a correct diagnosis and being able to precisely target treatment and procedures.
Clinical radiologists carefully control and monitor the doses of ionising radiation a patient is exposed to in X-rays and CT scans. They are highly trained in these technologies and know how to administer the tests to achieve the best outcome for the patient using the lowest dose of radiation. Before a clinical radiologist undertakes an imaging procedure they carefully weigh the benefit against any potential risk.
Clinical radiologists are also highly trained in radiation safety.
The level of radiation you will be exposed to depends on the nature of the test you are having
- CT Scan
- Nuclear Medicine
The level of radiation used in X-rays and CT scans is much lower than that used in radiation therapy for cancer treatment.
Last saved on 13 October 2016.