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Medical imaging techniques have helped improve clinical practices. Medical imaging is the process or technique used in medical practice to create images of the body or different body parts. Doctors and physicians use the images obtained from medical imaging to reveal various conditions or diseases in the body. Medical imaging is a critical aspect in biological study today. There are different techniques in medical imaging. The common techniques include radiography, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), sonography, and positron emission tomography (PET scan). These imaging techniques have made it possible to diagnose various diseases and conditions affecting human beings today. This paper presents a brief description of these medical imaging techniques. Students interested in healthcare practice will find the descriptions useful towards making appropriate career choices.
Radiography is one of the common imaging techniques used in medical practice today. Radiography entails the use of different imaging techniques such as X-rays to examine materials of different compositions. A good example of such materials is the human or animal body. The x-rays are produced using an “X-ray generator.” The nature of the body explains why different parts tend to absorb different amounts of x-rays during radiography. The rays are recorded as an image using a “digital detector.” Sometimes a photographic film is used as a detector. The photographic film usually provides a two-dimensional (2D) image of the examined body parts. Radiography is used for both industrial and medical practices. Radiographic examination of animals or human beings has helped treat different conditions and diseases.
Computed Tomography (CT scan)
Modern technologies have made it easier to produce three-dimensional (3D) images using a technique known as “tomography.” Computed tomography is a new imaging technology that utilizes computer-generated x-rays to produce virtual slices or images within an object or body. The x-rays produced using tomography makes it possible to examine the “interior” of an object without dissecting it. Computed tomography utilizes a principle known as “digital geometry processing.” The approach makes it possible to produce three-dimensional (3D) images. The important thing about X-ray CT scans is that it gives the viewer (or doctor) an opportunity to examine the images from a single axis. The images are usually cross-sectional, thus making it possible for clinicians and doctors to use them for therapeutic, diagnostic, and treatment purposes. The use of computed tomography has helped doctors provide quality care and treatment in different medical practices and disciplines.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
One of the best imaging techniques today is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This type of medical imaging is widely used in nursing practices to investigate the function or anatomy of the human body. The technique uses equipment known as “MRI scanners.” These scanners use radio waves and magnetic principles to form accurate images of different body parts. The magnetic fields and waves form images that can be used to improve medical practices. Magnetic resonance imaging (also called magnetic resonance tomography) is widely applied in health care institutions for diagnosis and “disease staging” without the use of harmful radiations. Magnetic resonance tomography is widely used in many hospitals and health care organizations because it is effective. The method helps produce 3D images, thus improving the quality of services provided to patients without exposing them to ionizing X-rays and other harmful radiations.
Diagnostic sonography (also called ultrasonography) is an imaging technique that uses ultrasounds. The imaging technique examines the subcutaneous structures in the body, such as vessels, lesions, muscles, tendons, and joints. The imaging method uses high-frequency sound waves. The technique produces ultrasound images known as “sonograms.” These sound waves are produced using special equipment called a “transducer.” Sonography uses ultrasonic devices to produces scans, videos, and images of human body parts. One thing about this type of medical imaging is that it requires special skills and experience. Sonographers should be competent because of the extraordinary levels of diagnosis and image analysis. It is also necessary for professionals to have a wide knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and sound physics. Such skills are necessary to ensure the technique is successful.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan)
Positron emission tomography (PET) is another modern imaging technique used widely today. The imaging technique produces 3D pictures of various body functions or processes. The imaging method uses a system capable of detecting rays emitted by a tracer (also called a positron-emitting nuclide). The important thing to consider is that a positron emission tomography helps doctors examine different body functions, organs, and tissues. The method uses small amounts of gamma rays. The doctor should choose the best radioactive material depending on the tissue or body organ under study using PET scan. Patients or individuals can inhale or swallow the radioactive material for the scan to take place. A positron emission topography (PET) scan is, therefore, useful because it makes it possible for physicians to evaluate several conditions affecting people today. Some of these conditions include cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, and various neurological problems.