What Are the Diagnostic Radiology Procedures?

Diagnostic Radiology is a branch of Radiology that seeks to diagnose patient condition through a variety of minimally invasive procedures. The other branch is interventional radiology. Both come together to help diagnose and treat various diseases that require medical images to view. 

In this article, we want to focus on the various diagnostic radiology procedures, what they entail, and what health problems and diseases they help diagnose.

Diagnostic Radiology Procedures

CT Scans

CT scan machine - one of the diagnostic radiology procedures

A CT scan, or computed tomography, utilizes several X-ray images and compiles them into cross-sectional images. These scans can provide detailed information for the diagnosis and treatment of bones, vessels, and soft tissue maladies. 

This form of diagnostic imaging is more thorough than a regular X-ray and can show the locations of fractures, blood clots, tumors, or internal bleeding sites. It uses a small dosage of ionizing radiation. The amount of necessary radiation dramatically fell as imaging technology improved, making CT scans completely safe and risk-free. 

Ultrasound

An ultrasound differs from other imaging procedures because it utilizes sonography instead of radiation. The echoes created by sound waves can provide an accurate image of internal organs and soft tissues. It is the scanning procedure for monitoring pregnant women and the health of unborn children. 

A sonographer will apply a gel-like solution to the skin and scan the area using a generally pain-free device that’s non-invasive. However, some more complicated procedures may utilize an internal transducer. Whenever the device emits soundwaves, it will reflect off internal areas, creating an image of what’s inside. 

DEXA Scan

A DEXA scan investigates the bone mineral density of the patient. Bone density tends to decrease as we age, putting some at risk for bone fractures and poor bone health. Other risk factors can include genetics, lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and drinking, and poor diet and nutrition.

A DEXA scan emits dual X-rays at different energy levels. Both will have a unique absorption rate from the bone. The difference is calculated by removing the absorption rate of the soft tissue, and then comparing the numbers. This difference is then compared to the average bone density of a healthy 25-30-year-old individual. 

If the difference yields a score greater than -1, the diagnostic radiologist can ascertain that the patient has low bone density. A score of -2.5 is an indicator of osteoporosis. The DEXA scan is a noninvasive, quick procedure that can be safely performed multiple times a year. 

MRI

An MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, machine utilizes magnetism and radio waves to create images that can be used to diagnose and treat disease. This information then gets displayed on a computer monitor for the radiologist to interpret. You’ll likely change into a hospital gown. You’ll also need to remove all metal objects and disclose to your doctor if you have any metal implants.

MRI’s can check organs in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, as well as the health of blood certain blood vessels. It can locate inflammation, tumors, and signs of certain diseases pertaining to the heart, liver, kidney, and bowels.

This procedure utilizes no radiation. Electric components emit radio frequencies toward the body, resulting in energy fluctuations which create images. The patient never sees contact with the current. 

Mammogram

Mammography differs from ultrasound in that it scans for masses that cannot be felt during a physical examination. Both see use in looking for and diagnosing breast cancer. A mammogram is useful for those with less dense breast tissue, but both are often used if illness becomes a genuine concern. 

It is recommended that women regularly receive a mammogram or ultrasound, per the expertise of the radiology, on a regular basis. Breast cancer is a highly treatable form of the disease, so long as it is detected early.

Diagnostic Radiology Procedures by Hudson River Radiology

Hudson River Radiology is a team of radiologist veterans across the field. We only employ state-of-the-art imaging technology to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis. We understand that imaging procedures and the reason for them can be uncomfortable. That’s why we take pride in the level of customer care we provide, and readily offer same-day appointments for those in need.

If you are in need of a diagnostic radiology procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us today (201)-876-1111 to schedule your next appointment at one of our locations.

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