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3.1.2 Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging
by

Lori Richardson

on 8 January 2014

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Transcript of 3.1.2 Diagnostic Imaging

3.1.2
Diagnostic Imaging
For the last couple of months Mike Smith, son of James and Judy Smith, has been experiencing pain in his right proximal humerus. Since Mike is a sixteen year old and has been in the middle of a growth spurt, no one thought Mike’s pain was uncommon for a kid his age.
For the last few weeks though, Mike’s pain has gotten worse and the pain is enough to wake him up at night. Mike has a hard time lifting his arm and the area on his arm right below his shoulder has gotten tender, swollen, and red. Judy Smith has been concerned about her son, so she took him to their family physician.
The family physician first did a medical history, asking questions about Mike’s health habits, and asked James and Judy for their family history, including any medical conditions, past illnesses, and treatments.
Next, the physician did a physical exam to feel the affected area for any lumps or bumps. As soon as the physician felt Mike’s proximal humerus, Mike jerked his arm away due to pain. The physician could see the area was swollen and red, so an X-ray was ordered as well as several blood tests, including tests to check for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels and lactase dehydrogenase (LDH) levels.
Both ALP and LDH levels were higher than normal, showing bone cell activity in the affected bone may be higher than normal. The X-ray showed a tumor on the humerus bone close to the epiphyseal plate, so the physician referred Mike to an orthopedic oncologist.
The orthopedic oncologist ordered a Computer Tomography (CT Scan), a bone scan and an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to learn more about the tumor.
The CT Scan was used to show if the tumor had grown into nearby muscle or fat.
The Radionuclide bone scan was used to show images of all the bones in the body and show if any other bones or the lungs were affected.
The MRI was used to show how far the tumor had grown inside the bone.
In this activity, you will investigate the way in which these medical imaging technologies are used to detect cancer and will create a concept map that describes the different uses for each of these technologies. You will also research the roles of radiological technologists who specialize in MRI and CT radiography.
Diagnostic imaging refers to
technologies that doctors
use to look inside your
body. In Lesson 2.1,
you learned about
ultrasonography, a type
of diagnostic imaging
technique involving the
formation of a two-
X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans are a few of the other diagnostic imaging technologies used to create pictures of the inside of the body to diagnose and treat many disorders, including cancer.
dimensional image used for the examination and measurement of internal body structures.
Radiology is the branch of medicine that is involved with diagnostic imaging. A diagnostic radiologist is a specialized physician who
diagnoses
diseases by
obtaining and
interpreting
medical images.
The radiologist usually receives assistance from a radiologic technologist. If you have ever had an X-ray or CT scan, you have probably met a radiologic technologist.
But did you know there are actually numerous specialty areas for radiological technologists? These include MRI and CT radiographers, mammographers, sonographers, nuclear medicine technologists, and radiation therapists.
In the Family Bulletin, Mike Smith was diagnosed with osteosarcoma with the use of X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, and MRI scans.
The diagnostic images show that Mike most likely has localized osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that originates in the bone. The cells that form this cancer produce cancerous bone tissue that is not as strong as normal bones. In order to confirm the diagnosis, the orthopedic oncologist has ordered a bone biopsy of the tumor.
Noninvasive medical test used to produce images of the inside of the body to help diagnose medical conditions.
X Ray
3.1.2
Diagnostic Imaging
Structures that are dense, such as bone, will block most of the X-ray particles and appear white.
X Ray
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that is sent through the body.
Structures containing air will appear black and muscle, fat, and fluid will appear gray.
Metal and contrast media, a special dye used to highlight areas of the body, will appear white.
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
1895
Produces two-dimensional images.
X Ray
Uses ionizing radiation which can increase risk of developing cancer.
Examines bones, teeth, lungs, breasts, heart, blood vessels, and the digestive tract.
X-ray is performed by a machine that sends individual X-ray particles, called photons, through the body.
X Ray Procedure
The photons pass through the body and the resulting images are recorded on a computer or special film.
Pros and Cons
Advantages
Disadvantages
Quick, painless, noninvasive test
Small amount of radiation exposure
Contrast materials sometimes used might produce an allergic reaction
Relatively inexpensive
Also called Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT Scan).
CT Scan
A series of X-ray views taken from many different angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues inside your body.
CT Scan
Noninvasive medical test used to produce images of the inside of the body to help diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Examines the chest, abdomen, pelvis, spine, and other skeletal structures.
CT Scan
Produces cross-sectional images of the body.
Uses ionizing radiation which can increase your risk of developing cancer.
CT scan is performed inside a large tube that looks like a large doughnut standing on its side, and the person lies on the table in the center.
CT Scan Procedure
Each rotation yields several images of thin slices of the body.
The table slowly moves through the inside of the machine.
The X-ray tube rotates around the body.
Pros and Cons
Advantages
Disadvantages
Painless, noninvasive, and accurate test that is fast and simple
Can be performed if patient has an implanted medical device of any kind
Able to image bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels all at the same time
Small amount of ionizing radiation exposure
Contrast materials sometimes used might produce an allergic reaction
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MRI
Detailed images produced of soft tissue, versus X-rays and CT scans, which produce images of hard tissues such as bones and teeth.
MRI
Unlike X-rays and CT scans, which use radiation, MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves.
Noninvasive medical test used to produce images of the inside of the body to help diagnose and treat medical conditions.
Used to examine the brain, spine, joint, abdomen, blood vessels, and pelvis.
MRI
Produces cross-sectional images of the body.
Is very safe as the magnetic field itself does not hurt people (unless they have certain types of metal implanted in their body).
MRI scan is performed inside a large magnet, and the person lies on the table in the center.
MRI Procedure
The machine then receives returning radio waves and uses a computer to create pictures of the part of the body being scanned.
Radio waves are sent into the body.
The machine scans the body by turning small magnets on and off.
Pros and Cons
Advantages
Disadvantages
Noninvasive test that poses almost no risk when safety guidelines are followed
Contrast materials sometimes used less likely to produce an allergic reaction than those used in x-rays and CT scans
Images of the soft tissue structures of the body are more likely to identify and accurately characterize diseases than other imaging methods
Does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation
Implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam
Confined space may induce panic or feelings of claustrophobia in some patients
Very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected
Noninvasive medical test used to produce images of the bones that help diagnose and track several types of bone disease.
Bone Scan
Used to examine the skeleton to detect abnormalities.
Bone Scan
Produces two-dimensional images of the body.
Bone scan is a nuclear imaging test.
Uses tiny amounts of radioactive materials called tracers (radionuclides).
An injection of tracers is administered to the patient and allowed to circulate and be absorbed by the bones.
Bone Scan Procedure
Radiologists look for abnormal bone metabolism on the scan, areas that show up as darker or lighter where tracers have or have not accumulated.
Once absorbed, the patient lies on a table while a machine passes a gamma camera over the body to record the pattern of tracer absorption by the bones.
Pros and Cons
Advantages
Disadvantages
Noninvasive
Can scan the entire skeleton
Extremely sensitive to abnormalities and variations in bone metabolism
Cannot determine cause of bone metabolism abnormalities
Tracers used produce a small amount of radiation exposure
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