Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging: Understanding the Different Types

Diagnostic imaging has been used for decades in medicine but the technology has rapidly grown in recent years. With the help of diagnostic imaging, physicians are able to get an immediate, detailed view of a patient’s bodily systems and organs. This helps them make a more accurate and faster diagnosis. Here is a look at the different types of diagnostic imaging procedures and what they are used for.


X-rays are the oldest but still widely used diagnostic imaging procedure. X-rays involve exposing the body to a small dose of radiation in order to create a recordable image of the inside of the body. X-rays are commonly used to diagnose and detect broken bones, tumors, pneumonia and other conditions.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scans

CT scans are much more sophisticated than regular X-rays, as they can take multiple images from different angles and display them in 3-D. CT scans provide a much more detailed and comprehensive view of the patient’s body. For this reason, they are used to diagnose and detect many serious illnesses and conditions, such as cancer, fractures, aneurysms, and heart problems.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRIs use powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the patient’s body without the use of radiation. MRIs are commonly used to diagnostically image the brain, spine, joints, and organs such as the pancreas and kidneys.


Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the patient’s organs and structures. Ultrasound is very safe and can be used to detect and diagnose a variety of conditions, including pregnancy, tumors, gallstones, and many other abnormalities.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine uses radioactive tracers to monitor a patient’s organs and tissues. It is commonly used to diagnose and monitor conditions such as thyroid diseases, tumors, heart disease, and kidney disease.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans

PET scans use radioactive tracers to create images of the patient’s organs and tissues. This imaging technique is used to detect and diagnose cancer, dementia, and many other serious illnesses.