Different Types of Medical Imaging

Medical imaging is the process of creating a visual picture of a body’s interior that is most commonly used for diagnosing and treatment. In comparison to other forms of examination, it is considered noninvasive, making it a powerful tool for patient care. The most common types of medical imaging are x-ray, MRI, sonography and CT.

X-Ray

In x-ray imaging, medical digital imaging technicians obtain images of an individual’s anatomy. This is used for examination of various body systems such as the digestive system and skeletal system. Many people have experienced x-ray digital imaging at some point in their lives as it is commonly used for evaluating common issues such as potential broken bones.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI scanners are used to conduct closer examinations of areas that cannot be easily observed via x-rays or CT scans. Magnetic resonance imaging is ideal for evaluating soft tissue areas and uses radio and magnetic waves to help view the interiors of various internal structures. MRI scans are commonly used to obtain images of the brain.

Sonography

Sonography, more commonly referred to as ultrasound, uses sound waves to create an image of an individual’s interior anatomy. It is considered the safest method of obtaining medical images. Sonography is used for pregnancy in addition to examinations of cardiac and spinal structures. It is also used for the evaluation of various other internal organs because it is an easy choice for many due to the low risk involved.

Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed tomography is used to obtain digital images of all forms of tissue. With the aid of x-rays, CT scans (also called CAT scans) obtain cross-section pictures of the individual and allow for an in-depth examination of everything from the skeletal system to the vasculature.

Medical imaging allows in-depth examinations to be conducted without invasive procedures. By understanding the benefits that each form of medical imaging provides, the best type can be selected based upon an individual’s needs.