3 Types Of Medical Imaging: A Guide

Posted on: 27 December 2018

If you have recently been diagnosed with an illness, your doctor may refer you to a specialist so further investigations can be completed. These investigations sometimes take the form of scans and other medical imaging. Medical imaging is extremely useful to doctors as it allows them to see inside your body without the need for invasive and potentially risky surgery. However, many people are fearful of medical scans because they do not understand what is involved. Below is a guide to three common types of medical imaging scans which you may be offered during the course of your treatment.


X-rays are the name given to radiation which is able to pass through human tissue. When an x-ray passes through your body, different parts of your body absorb energy from the rays at different rates. By measuring the frequency with which x-rays pass through your body using a very sensitive detector, a doctor can produce a detailed image of the inside of your body. X-rays struggle to pass through denser parts of the human body such as bone or other solid objects. For this reason, you are likely to be referred for an x-ray if you have broken or fractured a bone or if the doctor suspects you may have a growth or obstruction within your body.

CT Scans

CT scanning can be thought of like the big brother of the x-ray machine. CT scanning uses the same technology as traditional x-ray machines. However, rather than producing a single 2D image of your body, CT scans produce more detailed 3D images. CT machines do this by taking a large number of X-ray images which are compiled together to form an image which is a cross-section of your body. CT scans are particularly useful if it is suspected that you have suffered damage to your spinal cord, internal organs or brain tissue.

MRI Scans

MRI imaging is the most advanced type of medical imaging available. MRI produces an extremely detailed digital image of your body. It does so not by bombarding your body with radiation but by subjecting your tissue to an extremely strong magnetic field. During this process, the hydrogen within the cells of your body aligns with the magnetic field. As they return to their original position, the radiation they emit can be measured, creating an image.

If you would like to find out more, you should contact a medical imaging services provider today.


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