The Growth of Diagnostic Imaging
Diagnostic Imaging Team
18th June 2018
Radiology. Radiography. Diagnostic Imaging. What’s the difference?
The evolution of radiography and radiology in veterinary practice
Historically the use of X-rays, termed radiography, was the fundamental means of creating images of patients. There is no doubt it still has a major role to play and will do for many years to come. Technicians specialising in the use of X-rays were called radiographers and the clinicians interpreting those images called radiologists for obvious reasons.
With the rapid expansion of computer technology from the 1960s onwards, new ideas for medical imaging have been developing. These include linking computer power to X-radiation and also linking computer technology to other energy sources that might provide medical images.
Most people are familiar with ultrasonography (used in pregnancy assessment and soft tissue imaging), computed tomography or CT (an X-ray based computer assisted modality), magnetic resonance imaging or MRI (a computer assisted system that uses powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to generate the image) and nuclear medicine or scintigraphy (a technique where a small dose of short acting radioactivity is used to identify various tissues or organs that may be diseased).
So, where does Diagnostic Imaging fit in?
More recently some of these techniques have been hybridised. The technological explosion can only continue. Not surprisingly the discipline is now called by some Diagnostic Imaging rather than Radiology. However, those clinicians specialising in the subject in the UK are still called radiologists.
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