Diagnostic radiology

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Diagnostic radiology, the imaging modalities using ionizing radiation, produces images of anatomical internal structures of human organs and physiological (functional) biological systems and helps significantly improve patient management and care in screening and diagnosis, assessing treatment response, predicting prognosis, and detecting disease recurrence. Modern diagnostic radiology assures faster, more precise diagnosis and enables monitoring of a large proportion of diseases. It has been estimated that in about one half of all cases, radiological procedures (conventional radiography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography) have a substantial impact on the speed of diagnosis and in a large fraction of cases they are of decisive importance in guiding patient management and therapy.

In diagnostic radiology, x rays, produced by machines, are transmitted through the patient’s body and detected by a receptor (or detection) system to generate the required image of the organs under investigation. The differential absorption of x rays in tissues and organs, owing to their atomic composition, is the basis for the various imaging methods used in diagnostic radiology. Modern diagnostic radiology uses a digital process for image acquisition, transfer, process and storage. Over the past years, with the tremendous technological progress and collaborative efforts in radiation protection, the radiation doses used in diagnostic radiology have been significantly reduced and continue to be reduced through technological innovations especially in CT (ICRP Publication 135 Diagnostic Reference Levels in Medical Imaging; ICRP Publication 121 Radiological Protection in Paediatric Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology; ICRP Publication 105 Radiological Protection in Medicine; ICRP Publication 93 Managing Patient Dose in Digital Radiology).

Diagnostic radiology are mainly applied in the areas: (1) Digital general radiology (DR); (2) Mammography; (3) Fluoroscopy systems; (4) Mobile radiography and fluoroscopy; (5) Bone density scan (DXA); (6) Computed tomography (CT); (7) Conventional tomography and tomosynthesis; (8) Dental radiography / CBCT; (9) Nuclear medicine including hybrid imaging (SPECT/CT, PET/CT, PET/MRI); (10) Cardiology; (11) Neuroradiology; and (12) Paediatrics.

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