Bone is one such tissue that appears clearly on an x-ray, owing to its density. It is, thus, that x-rays have come out as a highly effective method when it comes to detecting any bone-related issues.
X-rays, for an instance, can prove extremely helpful when it comes to diagnosing any kind of fractures or breaks, some teeth problem like root erosion or loosening of teeth, and bone infection or osteomyelitis. Scoliosis or an abnormal spine curvature, bone tumor, and thinning of bones can also be detected using the x-ray technique.
Therapeutic or investigative procedures may also involve x-rays at times to assist the surgeon in guiding the equipment to the patient’s body part being treated. Usually, x-rays are seen being used when the surgeon inserts a catheter into the blood vessel of patient’s arm or groin during a coronary angioplasty.
The purpose is to guide the catheter tip to the patient’s heart or arteries supplying his heart. Contrast medium (a special fluid) is injected using the catheter. Angiograms i.e. the images thus produced show if any blood vessel is blocked.
Though, blood vessels and other major body parts do not show up clearly on x-ray images, they can still be observed. Thus, chest x-rays are useful to detect any change or abnormality in patient’s heart, major arteries or lungs. Heart ailments like congenital heart disease or pericarditis can be particularly detected along with other conditions related to lung such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.
What is contrast medium?
It is a liquid containing dye, which is injected or swallowed prior to an x-ray test. It appears in white and helps differentiate between varied body structures.
Types of X-ray
Different kinds of x-rays are used to examine different parts of the body. These are:
- Barium swallow
Barium is nothing, but a form of contrast medium, which is generally given in a drinking solution. Once barium passes into the patient’s upper digestive system, X-rays are conducted. Any issue related to upper digestive system is diagnosed using a barium swallow.
It is one kind of x-ray technique used to image blood vessels. And the images taken out are dubbed angiograms. Blood vessels do not appear clear on x-rays. Thus, they are highlighted by the dye when it moves through them and make them appear white. The doctor can study this movement, which helps him diagnose problems like blockages.
- Barium enema
When barium solution is passed through the patient’s anus and into bowel, it is barium enema. This is helpful in diagnosing bowel issues like stools or persistent constipation.
- Intravenous urogram (IVU)
Contrast medium is instilled into the patient’s veins during the intravenous urogram (IVU) procedure. Generally, iodine solution is used during the same, which enter the patient’s bladder and kidneys. Later, x-rays of these parts are taken to detect any issue with their urinary system.