Since its discovery over a century ago by Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen, X-rays have been used in the work up and diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases and injuries. Improvements and technical advances over the years have led to production of images of much sharper detail but with much less radiation exposure. Newer applications for X-rays have also been developed, such as mammography to evaluate the breasts and bone densitometry to look for osteoporosis. CT scanning is also another novel application of X-rays to evaluate the human body.
Diagnostic X-rays are ionizing radiations emitted from the X-ray machines that are used to study the structures of the body. These radiations penetrate the body tissue and, depending upon the type of tissue being examined, cause still images of a body part to be made on X-ray film. These images are developed and stored digitally (filmless radiology).
Most are straightforward procedures, but some are more involved. Studies such as gastrointestinal fluoroscopy and kidney X-ray examinations are performed with the use of oral or intravenous contrast agents, causing their internal architecture to be outlined. An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is one such example where a contrast material is injected intravenously and serial X-ray images are obtained.
Here at Geisinger, all radiographic studies are reviewed and evaluated by a radiologist, a physician who specializes in the interpretation of X-ray studies. These results are then communicated to your doctor.
- Plain X-rays including Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) and tomography
- Gastrointestinal tract (upper GI, barium enema, esophagram, ERCP)
- Fertility exams (hysterosalpinography)
- Urinary tract (VCUG, cystography)
- Joints (arthrography)
- Speech therapy evaluation
- Spinal exams (myelography)
- Salivary gland (sialography)
- Abdominal radiography
- Chest radiography
- Plain tomography
- Skeletal radiography