Radiology

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Radiology is medical specialty that employs the use of imaging to both diagnose and treat disease visualized within the human body. Radiologists utilize an array of imaging technologies (such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) to diagnose or treat diseases. Interventional radiology is the performance of (usually minimally invasive) medical procedures with the guidance of imaging technologies. The acquisition of medical imaging is usually carried out by the radiographer or radiologic technologist.

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Acquisition of radiological images

The following imaging modalities are used in the field of diagnostic radiology:

Projection (plain) radiography

Radiographs (or roentgenographs, named after the discoverer of x-rays, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen) are produced by the transmission of x-rays through a patient to a capture device then converted into an image for diagnosis. The original and still common imaging produces silver impregnated films. In Film-Screen radiography an x-ray tube generates a beam of x-rays which is aimed at the patient. The x-rays which pass through the patient are filtered to reduce scatter and noise and then strike an undeveloped film, held tight to a screen of light emitting phosphors in a light-tight cassette. The film is then developed chemically and an image appears on the film. Now replacing Film-Screen radiography is Digital Radiography, DR, in which x-rays strike a plate of sensors which then converts the signals generated into digital information and an image on computer screen. Plain radiography was the only imaging modality available during the first 50 years of radiology. It is still the first study ordered in evaluation of the lungs, heart and skeleton because of its wide availability, speed and relative low cost.

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