Radiology and its contribution to the diagnosis of various diseases

 Have you ever wondered what is the role of Radiology in medical sciences? On multiple occasions, you must have been to the radiology department in a hospital to get the investigations done. Yes, exactly. Radiology is the study of diagnostic images obtained from advanced machines utilized for detecting various normal processes or diseases inside your body. It is especially beneficial for early detection of cancers.

How does radiology aid in saving lives?

It has been a long journey since 1896, from the discovery of x-rays to its application in medical sciences for detection of various obscure ailments in the initial stages of their growth. Today, many technologically advanced radiological equipment have come into existence by the application of various principles of physics in medical research studies. These assist doctors in the diagnosis of disease as well as charting out the course of action specific to the patient’s disease.

X-ray imaging

The different types of radiology equipment like X-ray, CT scan or Mammography machine use similar principle for producing X-rays. CT machine runs on advanced technology and is used for greater precision in diagnosis. Similarly, a mammography machine is specifically designed for the visualization of breasts for detecting any abnormalities. The radiations pass through your body onto the sensor plate which then converts it into an image on the radiographer’s monitor screen.

Thus, X-rays are used for 

  • Localizing fractures of different degrees
  • Visualizing breasts for any diseases
  • Visualizing the gut obstruction
  • Detecting the cause of chest or abdominal pain etc

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

As the name suggests, this imaging technique harnesses the power of giant magnets to produce clear and powerful images of the soft tissues and organs inside the body. MRI has certainly aided in overcoming the hazardous effect of excessive exposure to X-rays, especially for the pregnant ladies.

MRI is particularly advantageous for:

  • Detection of bleeding or swelling in trauma patients
  • Tumors or inflammation in the brain, spine, abdomen, pelvic area etc

PET scan imaging

This is the most advanced technology in the field of radiology which operates with radioactive tracers in limited amounts whose radiations are captured to create images of zones of activity in the body. Highly active zones usually indicate cancer cells. It is useful in:

  • Real-time functioning of the cells in the body
  • Chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
  • Damaged areas of the brain that cause seizures
  • Plan operations like heart bypass surgery
  • Visualizes cancer growth
  • Detects spread of cancer to other parts

Ultrasound imaging

It is a commonly used investigation which employs the use of sound waves. It is used extensively for

  • Neonatal screening in pregnant ladies
  • Detect causes of pain in the abdomen
  • Urinary tract obstructions
  • Heart and blood vessels abnormalities.

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