The Australian Construction Safety Journal Autumn 2012 digital eMagazine has been released, view here: http://t.co/6qniRFQj
The following list provides general information about the different types of procedures carried out by Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association members.
An x-ray (or radiograph) is a type of picture produced by passing a very small amount of radiation through the body to expose a sensitive detector or film that is positioned on the other side. The image shows the internal structures including the bones and some of the soft tissues.
This procedure enables radiologists to view x-rays in real time on a television monitor. In most cases this involves the administration of a ‘contrast’ agent to outline the region of interest. The two most common fluoroscopic procedures are barium meal and barium enema. A Barium Meal is an examination of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, i.e. oesophagus, stomach and duodenum. A barium enema is an investigation of the large bowel.
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray that provides detailed images of the internal structure of the breast. Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women without symptoms and to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast before a patient or doctor can feel them. Diagnostic mammography is also used to evaluate a breast lump or lumps.
DEXA (Bone Densitometry) Scan
A DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scan is a safe, painless and non-invasive examination used to measure the bone mineral content in various parts of the body (e.g. spine, hip and wrist). Bone densitometry is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. DEXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.
Ultrasound is a widely used technique which produces detailed images of the body, using high frequency sound waves (much higher than human ears can hear) produced by a small hand held device known as an ultrasound probe (transducer). The reflected sound waves are detected by the probe and used to create an image which is displayed on the television screen of the ultrasound machine. The sound energy used is absorbed by the body as heat but there is no noticeable warming effect. There are no known harmful effects. It can be used to gain information about a variety of conditions, including pregnancy, gallstones and varicose veins. An ultrasound which shows blood flow may also be called Colour Flow Doppler or Duplex Scan. Ultrasound can be used to capture images of the pelvis and abdomen, the musculo-skeletal system, breast abnormalities, the male reproduction system, the kidney, the thyroid, the gall bladder and pancreas, fetal development and many other indications.
Multi Slice CT Scan
A CT (Computed Tomography) scan uses special x-ray equipment to obtain image data from different angles around the body and then uses computer processing of that information to show a crosssection of the body, including bones and organs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a very powerful magnet and radio-frequency pulses to collect signals that are then processed by a computer to form an image of the body part. Images line up like slices from a loaf of bread. MRI gives a detailed view of the soft tissues of the body, e.g. muscles, ligaments, brain tissue, discs and blood vessels. Some patients with cardiac pacemakers, cerebral aneurysm clips, vascular stents, infusion pumps, neurostimulators and cochlear implants cannot be scanned. Most metal implanted at surgery (e.g. hip and knee replacements and metal rods) is safe. MRI uses no radiation. The radio wave pulses are of similar frequency to an fm radio. The powerful magnet does not have any known side effects.
Nuclear Medicine is an area of medicine that uses very small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to diagnose and sometimes treat disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attracted to specific parts of the body. These substances emit gamma radiation that is detected by a gamma camera. This specialty is unique in the fact that it records information regarding organ function and structure, as opposed to x-ray, based on anatomy. Nuclear Medicine is usually able to detect conditions earlier than other tests due to its functional basis, therefore permitting earlier treatment. Nuclear Medicine offers procedures on bones and all major organs, for example: lungs, kidneys, heart and brain. The amount of radio-activity given in these procedures is very small, usually comparable to x-ray procedures.
Positron Emission Tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a powerful diagnostic examination that uses small amounts of radioactive material administered to the patient to help in the diagnosis of certain cancers, brain disorders and heart conditions. PET scans are very safe and there are no side effects from the radioactive substance.