Imaging is a multidisciplinary field of study about generating, collecting, duplicating, analysing, modifying, and visualizing images. The purpose of imaging is also to recognize and make prominent the things that the human eye could not detect. Imaging methods are applied frequently in medical diagnostics. Medical imaging in Texas is available at the UCF Texas diagnostic lab.
What is medical imaging?
Medical diagnosis imaging is the process of applying imaging techniques to create images of different parts of the body. The purpose of medical diagnosis imaging is to treat, monitor, and diagnose diseases. Several imaging techniques are presently in practice. For instance, X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and radiography all use imaging principles. There are risks associated with specific imaging methods.
Moreover, patients of certain diseases can be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of specific imaging methods. Amongst the imaging techniques, ultrasound has proven to be the safest. The ultrasound method poses minor or no risk to patients of all ages, regardless of their disease type. It is even safe for infants or unborn fetuses. The technique of ultrasound uses sound waves. It creates the image of the parts inside the skin by transmitting sound waves through them. X-ray is another widespread medical imaging process.
Biomedical imaging is the process of making and using images for medical diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of diseases. Its medical imaging process includes the acquisition, visualization, and processing of images of systems and living objects. The method comprises several stages, such as gathering the biomedical signals, forming the image, processing the created image, and displaying the image, which depends on the features taken from the images.
Medical Diagnosis Imaging
Medical diagnosis imaging uses digital image processing to diagnose health abnormalities. Many diseases can be accurately diagnosed with the recent tools and devices for imaging. The methods of medical diagnosis imaging are also non-invasive. These methods search the inside region of the body to determine the reasons for an illness or an injury. Moreover, the medical imaging process also helps to confirm a prior diagnosis. It monitors a disease to analyze the response to treatment. There are different types of methods used for medical diagnosis imaging. These include the following:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI scan uses radio waves and intense magnetic fields to produce images of the inside region of the body. These scans produce high-resolution images that are very detailed.
MRI – Medical Imaging Process
The MRI scanner consists of strong magnets, and it is a large-sized tube. The body of the patient is put inside the scanner during the scanning process. MRI scan examines several parts of the body, including the joints, bones, breasts, blood vessels, heart, prostate gland, womb, liver, brain, and spinal cord. A professional radiographer carries out the procedure of the MRI scan. The scanner is controlled with a computer. That computer is in a different room so that it is not affected by the strong magnetic field produced by the MRI scanner. There also are times in the scan process during which the scanner makes loud noises. The noises produced by the scanner result from the electric field produced by the scanner coils that keeps on turning off and on. For this reason, the patient also wears headphones or earplugs.
The patient must stay still during the MRI scan, and the duration of the process is between 15-90 minutes, according to the type of scan and the number of images that the scan must produce.
There are certain drawbacks to the MRI scan too. The process of an MRI scan could incur discomfort to the patient and could also incur a higher cost. The patient is exposed to high-intensity electromagnets, because of which the room for scanning is also shielded.
There is not any health risk of MRI scans to the patients. However, they may experience anxiety and may take sedatives to relieve that during the process.
Medical Imaging Process – MRI Scan
The radio waves sent by the MRI scanner stimulate the protons present in the body to react. This results in the synthesis of very detailed images of the structures of the body. These include nerves, soft tissues, and blood vessels. MRI scans do not utilize any radiation. However, CT scans and x-rays make use of radiation.
Ultrasound is the safest method for imaging. The ultrasound medical diagnosis imaging is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the region inside the body. The alternative name for this imaging method is sonography.
Ultrasound technology is also called sonography because it uses the same principles as radar and sonar. The military uses radars and sonars to identify ships and planes. Sonar uses acoustic waves, whereas a radar makes use of electromagnetic waves. The purpose of both these systems is to determine the speed, distance, shape, and size of the target. This becomes possible by analyzing the echoes returned by the waves. The specialty of the sonar signals is that they can get inside the water too, which makes them relevant for underwater detection and navigation. In the same way, ultrasound medical diagnosis imaging uses high-frequency sound waves to get live images from inside the body.
The ultrasound medical imaging method is the safest as it does not use any radiation. This makes it a widely preferred way to view fetus development during pregnancy.
Computed Tomography (CT)
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method used to form detailed images of bones, soft tissues, blood vessels, and internal organs. CT scan makes use of x-ray images. These x-ray images are taken from several angles, and the information obtained is processed with a computer to form images of the cross-section of the blood vessels, bones, and soft tissues in the body. A CT scan provides more information than an x-ray scan.
CT Scan – Applications
A CT scan is most applied to the cases of internal injuries due to car accidents or other trauma types. This scan could be used for internal imaging problems in all parts of the body. Thus, it is frequently applied to plan radiation, surgical or medical treatments.
A CT scan helps with the diagnosis of several abnormalities and disorders. For instance, it diagnoses bone fractures and bone tumors, monitors the treatment of cancer, and detects internal injuries and bleeding. It provides more information to guide the procedures of radiation therapy, biopsy, and surgery. Moreover, the CT scan monitors and detects lung nodules, liver masses, heart disease, and cancer. It creates a 360-degree view of the structures in the body and spots organ injuries, bone fractures, and blood clots.
CT scans, x-rays, and MRI scans use electromagnetic waves to form images. X-rays and radio waves are forms of electromagnetic waves. However, there are specific differences in these medical diagnosis imaging methods. They differ in terms of their accessibility, the formed images’ details, and the energy type used.
CT Scan & MRI scan Versus X-Ray
When the problem is too intricate to be viewed from an x-ray image, the alternative is to use an MRI scan or a CT scan. MRI scan produces high-resolution images of soft tissues and bones. The MRI scans detect musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, including joint inflammation, nerve compression, cartilage loss, spinal injuries, detached or torn cartilage, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Detached or torn cartilage, muscles, tendons, or ligaments include rotator cuff tears, strains, sprains, Achilles’ tendon ruptures, meniscal tears, and ACL injuries.
CT Scan Versus MRI Scan
CT scan is applicable when the patient suffers from certain health conditions because of which they could not get the MRI scan. These include individuals with pacemakers, metal implants, as well as other implanted devices. The strong magnets used in the MRI scan machine could be harmful to these patients. However, a CT scan is not as accurate as the MRI scan in identifying slight differences between the various tissue types.
Radiography is the method that uses radiation to makes images of the bones, vessels, organs, tissues, and bones in the body. Radiologists are professionals who could interpret, read, and diagnose the images obtained from this process. Radiography aims to detect the absence or presence of a disease, structural anomaly or damage, and foreign objects. The method of radiography generally makes use of an x-ray beam and passes it through the body. It could also use gamma rays or any other type of non-ionizing and ionizing radiation for imaging.
The X-ray beam is used to form images of structures inside the body. It makes use of electromagnetic waves. The other frequent name for x-ray is radiograph. Electromagnetic waves travel with the speed of light, and they have an electric field and a magnetic field. Specifically, an X-ray forms the image of your bones. The beam of x-ray passes across the body, and it is absorbed differently by different parts. The extent of absorption of x-rays depends on the density of the material from which they pass. An X-ray test could be used to analyze the majority of areas of the body. The primary purpose of the x-ray is to view the joints and the bones. However, they are also used to analyze internal organs and soft tissues. X-ray method commonly detects bone breaks and bone fractures.
It is a preferred imaging method also because it is a very accessible and fast imaging method that only takes a few minutes.
X-ray test is associated with minorly increased cancer risk, but the risk of short-term adverse effects is very low. Many effects could result from exposure to high radiation. These include loss of hair, skin, as well as bleeding and vomiting.
Medical Imaging Process -X-Ray
X-ray forms an image scan by passing radiations across the body. The x-rays get blocked by the structures having high calcium levels. These include teeth and bones. Thus, they tend to appear white on the output image. The radiations of the x-ray could only pass across the soft tissues. These soft tissues appear black or gray on the output image.
The method of performing an x-ray is not time-taking, and it generally takes a few minutes only. X-rays help to diagnose the main abnormalities with the bones. It accurately spots dislocations, misalignments, fractures, and narrowed spaces of joints. However, this imaging method is not relevant to detecting subtle injuries in the bone, inflammation, or soft tissue damages. If the physician suspects a tendon tear soft tissue injury, then an x-ray could be used to determine if it is fractured.
Thermal imaging method diagnosis several diseases. This method detects any inflammation in the skin area by measuring the temperature. It identifies inflammation in the tissues present beneath the skin. Inflammation could cause the flow of blood in the tissues to decrease or increase. Thus, inflammation on the skin is a symptom of clinical irregularity. A thermal imaging system gauges the temperature of the skin quickly. This method is faster than the mouth or forehead thermometer that needs physical contact or close vicinity to the individual under the medical examination. Thermal imaging is a very credible method as it measures temperature very accurately.
Advantages of Thermal Imaging
There are several advantages of the thermal imaging method. One of the advantages is that the test administrator does not need to be in the proximity of the patient. Instead, the administrator of the test could also be in a separate room or area. This method is also faster than the alternative method for measuring temperature, which uses a thermometer.
Limitations of Thermal Imaging
There also are certain limitations to the thermal imaging method. Thermal imaging is not applicable for mass level temperature screening. Moreover, it is crucial to install the thermal imaging device properly to measure the temperature accurately.
Thermal Imaging is Being Used for COVID-19 Diagnosis
Presently, thermal imaging is also being used to measure the temperature of the potential COVID-19 patients. The advantage of this process is that the patients could continue to wear the mask over their mouth during the process.
Thermal Imaging Cameras
The thermal imaging method for medical diagnosis uses infrared cameras to record and capture the difference of temperature across several points on the skin. This information is used to make a medical diagnosis.
Medical Imaging Diagnostic Tests Near Me – Get an Imaging Test at UCF Texas
UCF Texas provides state-of-the-art diagnostic testing services. You can get medical imaging in Texas at the UCF Texas diagnostic lab. It is an approved lab with all the necessary licensing and certifications to carry out the medical diagnostic tests. For more information on any diagnostic tests, head over to our website or call us on our helpline. If you live in Texas, you can also avail yourself of the mobile phlebotomy services from UCF Texas.