Insight Diagnostic Imaging

X-Ray

X-Ray Screening

Common types of diagnostic x-ray methods:

X-rays are used for studying the inside of the body because they can penetrate body tissues, have a photographic effect, and can project an image of the body at work onto a TV monitor. Diagnostic x-ray procedures use radiation in the form of x-rays to help diagnose disease and injury. Procedures vary, and the equipment and steps involved differ depending on the procedure and part of the body being studied. All x-ray procedures share a common goal: to help give health-care providers important information about what's going on inside the body.

The procedure used depends on the tissue or organ to be studied

Common x-rays:

Bone - Fastest and easiest way to view and assess broken bones, cracked skull and injured backbone.

Chest - A chest x-ray is a procedure used to evaluate organs and structures within the chest for symptoms of disease. Chest x-rays include views of the lungs, heart, small portions of the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland and the bones of the chest area.


Common x-ray methods:

Fluoroscopy - Internal body structures at work are visualized by passing X-rays through the body and observing the image made on a TV monitor.

Mammography - A special X-ray machine is used to produce clear images of breast tissue, to help detect cancer.

Contrast Media - In certain procedures, special substances (contrast media) are used which will cause the soft tissue systems of the body to be outlined. They're either injected or swallowed. Contrast media most commonly used are air, barium sulphate, and organic iodine compounds.


Some common x-ray procedures:

Angiogram - A contrast medium is injected into blood vessels to help show blood flow in the heart, lungs, kidneys or brain. An angiogram may show the condition of the blood vessels, a blockage or an active bleeding site. A computer may be used to enhance the images.

Arthrogram - a contrast medium is injected into a joint (usually a knee or shoulder) to detect injury or disease.

Upper GI Series - the upper part of the gastrointestinal system (pharynx, esophagus, stomach and part of the small intestine) is studied. The patient is given a "barium shake" to drink for the common contrast medium.

Lower GI Series (Barium Enema) - The colon and rectum are pictured, using a barium enema. This usually requires special dietary changes 2-3 days before the procedure.

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) or Urogram - The kidneys, ureters and bladder are observed when a contrast medium is injected into a vein. Special dietary preparation is usually necessary.

More about x-rays

Bone x-ray

What is it?

A bone x-ray is the fastest and easiest way for a radiologist to view and assess broken bones, a cracked skull and an injured backbone. At least two films are taken of a bone, and often three films if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow, or wrist).

Why is it important?

Probably the most common use of bone x-rays is to assist the radiologist in identifying and treating fractures. X-ray images of the skull, spine, joints, and extremities are performed regularly in hospital and clinics. Images of the injury can show even very fine hairline fractures or chips, while images produced after treatment ensure that a fracture has been properly aligned and stabilized for healing. Bone x-rays are an essential tool in orthopaedic surgery, such as spinal repair, joint replacements, or fracture reductions.

What to expect

A patient will have to stand, sit or may be asked to lie down for the procedure depending on what area of the body is being x-rayed. During the procedure staff assisting the patient will leave for brief periods to take the x-ray. Patients are normally able to speak with staff before and after the actual x-ray is taken, however in most cases a patient willbe asked to hold their breath while the x-ray is being taken to ensure there isn't any movement which could blur the image.

A patient will be asked to remove all jewellery, eyeglasses, hair clips and even dentures and hearing aids.

If a patient suspects she is pregnant it is important to tell your doctor or the technologist taking the x-rays.

How long does it take?

Depending on what part of the body is being x-rayed, the procedure could take from about 15 minutes to an hour. Actual exposure time to radiation is minimal.

Preparation for an x-ray?

None.


Chest x-ray

What is it?

A chest x-ray is a procedure used to evaluate organs and structures within the chest for symptoms of disease. Chest x-rays include views of the lungs, heart, small portions of the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid gland and the bones of the chest area.

Why is it important?

Chest x-rays are ordered for a wide variety of diagnostic purposes. Chest x-rays are usually the most frequently performed x-ray. In some cases, chest x-rays are ordered for a single check of an organ's condition, and at other times, serial x-rays are ordered to compare to previous studies.

Common reasons for a chest x-ray:

Pulmonary disorders - Chest films are frequently ordered to diagnose or rule out pneumonia. Other pulmonary disorders such as emphysema or pneumothorax (presence of air or gas in the chest cavity outside the lungs) may be detected or evaluated through the use of a chest x-ray.

Cancer - A chest x-ray may be ordered by a physician to check for possible tumours of the lungs, thyroid, lymphoid tissue, or bones of the thorax. These may be primary tumours. X-rays also check for secondary spread of cancer from one organ to another.

Cardiac disorders - A chest x-ray can be used to check for disorders such as congestive heart failure or pulmonary edema.

Tuberculosis can be observed on chest x-rays, as can cardiac disease and damage to the ribs or lungs. Chest x-rays are used to see foreign bodies that may have been swallowed or inhaled, and to evaluate response to treatment for various diseases. Often the chest x-ray is also used to verify correct placement of chest tubes or catheters.

What to expect

Routine chest x-rays consist of two views. The frontal view (referred to as posterior anterior or PA), and the lateral (side) view. It is preferred that the patient stand for this exam, particularly when studying collection of fluid in the lungs.

During the actual time of exposure, a patient will be asked to hold their breath. It is very important in taking a chest x-ray to ensure there is no motion that could detract from the quality and sharpness of the film image.

Preparation

There is no advance preparation necessary for chest x-rays. Once the patient arrives at the exam area, a hospital gown will replace all clothing on the upper body and all jewelry must be removed.

After the exam

No aftercare is required by patients who have chest x-rays. 

About Us

Since 2004, Insight Diagnostic Imaging has been helping to improve men’s health, women’s health and children’s health by offering exceptional diagnostic medical services. Our radiology clinics use the most advanced medical technology and radiology equipment to generate accurate and quick results. We are proud to be among the most respected and well-known radiology clinics in Toronto and Mississauga.