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The rapid advances in clinical radiology technology and theory have dramatically improved the diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury.
Clinical radiology has a range of benefits for the patient:
Different radiological procedures have different advantages.
CT (computed tomography) scans visualise the inside of the body in great detail and can eliminate the need for exploratory surgery. CT makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images – or ‘virtual slices’ of specific areas of a scanned object. CT scans are accurate, fast and painless.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans produce three-dimensional images of soft tissues such as organs and muscles that don’t appear on X-rays. MRI technology uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the body. One MRI scan can produce many (sometimes hundreds) of images which can be stored on computer or printed on film.
Nuclear medicine scans are used in diagnosis and to see how internal organs are functioning.
A PET (positron emission tomography) scan is a nuclear medicine imaging test which involves injecting a small amount of liquid radioactive material into the body. PET can detect cancer in the body at an earlier stage than CT or MRI scans.
Ultrasound imaging is safe, quick and easy to perform and does not use any radiation. It’s frequently used in pregnancy to monitor the baby’s development. 3-D ultrasound produces a static 3-D image of the baby, while 4-D ultrasound produces a moving image.
X-rays, also known as plain radiography, have been used as a diagnostic tool for over 100 years. They are painless, fast, and non-invasive. X-rays are used to diagnose bone and joint-related conditions such as fractures and dislocations.
Page last modified on 29/3/2017.
RANZCR® is not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon the opinions, advices or information contained in this publication or of the manner in which it might be possible to do so. It issues no invitation to any person to act or rely upon such opinions, advices or information or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them.
RANZCR® intends by this statement to exclude liability for any such opinions, advices or information. The content of this publication is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and his/her doctor. Some of the tests and procedures included in this publication may not be available at all radiology providers.
RANZCR® recommends that any specific questions regarding any procedure be discussed with a person's family doctor or medical specialist. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, RANZCR®, its Board, officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use, or interpretation. Each person should rely on their own inquires before making decisions that touch their own interests.