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What are diagnostic imaging tests?
Diagnostic imaging tests are tests that allow doctors to see what’s going on inside your body. Doing this may help them diagnose a medical problem. The diagnostic imaging test or tests your doctor uses will depend on what your symptoms are, and what body part it affects. Below is an overview of the most common types of imaging tests.
An x-ray is a quick, painless imaging test that uses electromagnetic waves to produce images of your body’s internal structures, especially your bones.
How X-ray tests work:
X-ray beams are directed at you via an x-ray machine. As these beams travel through your body, they’re absorbed in differing amounts, depending on how dense the material they’re passing through is. The whitest images on an X-ray film are the densest parts of your body, such as your bones. Fat and muscle are less dense and show up as gray, while the air inside your lungs produces a black image. When a certain area needs to be seen in more detail, you may be given iodine or barium. These substances are called “contrast mediums,” because as they circulate in the body, they provide better detail on the images. X-Rays are used to see details on many body parts. These include:
Possible complications from X-rays:
Contrast mediums used in x-rays, and their possible complications:
Patients are sometimes given a substance called a contrast medium before an X-ray is taken, in order for certain parts of the film to show up in greater detail. Contrast mediums may result in the following:
In rare instances, people may have a severe reaction to the contrast medium. Symptoms can include:
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