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Radiology 

Radiology
Chapter:
Radiology
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199681907.003.0044
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date: 13 July 2020

This chapter discusses the main imaging modalities used to aid diagnosis and treatment in patients. It explains the physics behind the plain X-ray and the six main densities seen on plain films. Indications for plain films, for example, chest and abdominal films, trauma, and orthopaedics, are discussed, including limitations such as 2D representation of 3D structures and radiation dose. Through the use of sound waves and echoes, ultrasound can be used for a wide variety of imaging, including abdominal and pelvic organs, vascular structures, and even the neonatal brain via the baby’s open fontanelle. The chapter also covers the detailed imaging and 3D modelling obtained from computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging scans, including their drawbacks (high radiation dose from CT scans, contrast can induce nephropathy in renal impairment, while MRI scans are time-consuming and cannot be used in patients with ferromagnetic implants). Indications for fluoroscopy (dynamic studies, e.g. barium contrast to delineate gastrointestinal tract pathology) and nuclear imaging are also covered. A wide range of vascular and non-vascular interventional radiology techniques are also outlined.

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