HSC10 (Diagnosis, Treatment and Preventative Strategies): 3.10.2. Diagnostic Techniques

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Name the seven diagnostic imaging methods used.
X-Rays, Contrast x-rays, mammographs, CT/PET scanning, radionuclide scanning, MRI and ultrasounds.
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What type of radiation does an X-Ray use?
Electromagnetic radiation.
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Name what X-Rays can go through, and what they cannot pass through.
CAN: soft tissues of a person's body. CANNOT: metal, or thick pieces of bones.
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How does an X-Ray machine work?
Machine produces invisible beam of X-Rays, directed at the specific part of body. Under the part of the body, photographic paper is placed in an envelope. X-Rays then pass through body, and cause changes to paper. Paper developed to see X-ray.
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What is a mammography usually used to look for?
Signs of abnormalities in women's breasts (e.g. cancer)
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How is a mammography carried out?
Breast pressed slightly flat between two plates, and photographic plate is exposed to x-rays. Each breast done separately twice to ensure it is all looked at. Resulting image is called a mammogram, which is then seen by a doctor afterwards.
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What are contrast x-rays used to look for?
They are used to show hollow or fluid-filled organs, such of those of the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach, intestine) as they cannot be seen with normal x-rays
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How are contrast x-rays carried out?
Contrast medium is put into the patient's digestive tract (through barium swallow, or barium enema) as they are opaque to the x-ray machine, meaning that specific areas will show up on the image. X-ray is carried out exactly same as normal x-ray.
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Name three advantages of using X-Rays.
1) quick and easy to use - negative images can be developed whilst patient is there. 2) Cheaper to other methods 3) Painless
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Name three disadvantages of using X-Rays.
1) Radiation can cause damage to body cells (could lead to cancer). 2) Some soft tissues cannot be imaged unless contrast used. 3) Poor quality 2D images made.
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What is CT an acronym for?
Computed Tomography
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What kind of images do CT scans take?
an image of a slice or cross-section of the body.
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What are CT scans useful for detecting and examining?
Conditions affecting the brain (e.g. damage by head injury, tumours and strokes).
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How is a CT scan carried out?
Patient lies on table which is slid into the cylinder scanner. As this happens, scanner rotates around patient emitting pulses of x-rays and receiving radiation that has passed through body.X-rays received processed by computer software to make image
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Name three advantages of using CT scans
1) Images produced clear and detailed. 2) 3D picture. 3) Painless, and can scan the whole body.
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Name three disadvantages of using CT scans.
1) Radiation can be harmful 2) Expensive to use 3) Equipment is large compared to X-Ray machines.
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Which radioactive isotopes are used in radionuclide scanning?
Carbon, nitrogen oxygen, fluorine and iodine.
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Explain how radionuclide scanning works.
The isotopes are injected or swallowed into the body, and are absorbed by specific organs, bones and tissues. Once absorbed, they produce emissions, which is detected by special cameras and changed into images through computers.
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What is PET an acronym for?
Positron Emission Tomography
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Explain how PET scans are carried out.
Radionuclides introduced to patient's body, and after some time, they are placed on table that slides into scanner. Scanner detects radiation emitted from slice or cross section of body, Computer processes to create coloured image.
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What do the brighter colours in the image show?
They indicate the most radiation, which is where there is higher levels of activity.
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What are PET scans used for?
Used to observe heart functioning, and to diagnose conditions such as stroke or Alzheimer's.
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Name two advantages of PET scans
1) More effective than other methods in detecting malfunctions in the brain. 2) Painless
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Name two disadvantages of PET scans.
1) Radionuclides produce level of risk. 2) Chemicals and scanner very expensive.
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Describe an MRI scanner.
Large, horizontal cylinder, which is equipped with powerful electromagnets. Made up of coils of wire, when a current is passed through, a strong magnetic field is produced.
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How does an MRI scanner work?
Magnetic field causes charged particles in hydrogen atoms that make up body tissues to become aligned. A pulse of radio waves vibrates the particles, knocking them out of alignment and then back again. Radio signals let off by the particles are (c)
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How does an MRI scanner work? (2)
picked up by a receiver, which produces an image based off the strength of the radio waves. Bright areas are where there's lots of hydrogen atoms, whereas black areas are where that are no hydrogen atoms, such as bones.
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Name three advantages of MRI scans.
1) Produces 3 images. 2) Shows better contrast between normal and abnormal tissues compared to CT scan. 3) No harmful radiation therefore safe.
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Name two disadvantages of MRI scans.
1) Equipment is expensive compared to X-Ray machines. 2) Noisy, and people often get anxious when enclosed in it.
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Explain how an ultrasound is carried out.
Transducer is used that produces high frequency sound waves that penetrate through soft tissue of the skin. Oily gel is used on skin to provide good contact. Transducer is attached to computer that processes data from sound waves to create an image.
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What are ultrasounds used for?
1) To detect abnormalities in a patient's body. 2) To scan a foetus within the womb.
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Name three advantages of ultrasounds.
1) Low risk of harm as no radiation, so can be used where X-Rays can't. 2) Produces real-time moving image. 3) Relatively cheap compared to MRI scans.
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Name two disadvantages of ultrasounds.
1) Cannot penetrate bone so cannot be used to scan brain. 2) Poor/unclear image compared to other scanning.
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What is a tissue biopsy?
It is when a sample of living tissue is taken from a patient's body to be examined, usually under a microscope.
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Name the different types of tissue biopsies and explain them briefly.
1) Hollow needle inserted into tissue. 2) Punch biopsy - disc of skin removed to be examined. 3) Smear test - small sample of cells scraped from membrane. 4) Chorionic Villus Sampling - tissue sample from placenta at 10wks of pregnancy.
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Name one advantage of tissue biopsies.
Help to provide clear evidence of presence of disease and abnormality. Reduces uncertainty in diagnosis.
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Name one disadvantage of tissue biopsies.
Invasive and painful.
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What does ECG stand for?
Electrocardiography.
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What does an ECG help to diagnose?
Disorders of the circulatory system e.g. heart arrhythmias and myocardial infarctions.
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How is an ECG carried out?
Electrodes attached to patient's skin by sticky pads. Wires link to electrodes attached to machine that records electrical activity of the heart (nerve impulses triggering contractions) Electrocardiogram (activity recorded) examined by cardiologist.
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Where are electrodes placed usually?
The chest, wrist and ankles.
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Name the letters that cardiologists use to label wave patterns.
P, Q, R, S and T.
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What do deviations or differences in the wave patterns suggest?
Damage to heart muscle tissue or irregular nerve signals.
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Name two advantages of ECGs.
1) It's non-invasive. 2) Small equipment and inexpensive.
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Name one disadvantage of ECGs.
Although it reveals issues, further investigation will be needed which that cannot provide.
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Name the four body fluid sampling techniques.
Urine tests, blood tests, mucus tests and amniocentesis.
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Explain urine tests.
Sample taken at home, at GPs surgery or in a hospital. This sample is then tested chemically to detect levels of glucose, to test for infectious bacteria, kidney diseases, URIs, diabetes, drugs or ion levels.
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What can blood tests show?
1) Level of glucose (diabetes) 2) level of cholesterol (CVD) 3) number of red blood cells (anaemia) 4) presence of drugs 5) levels of minerals.
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What does a blood count test measure?
Haemoglobin levels, # of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets per ML of blood.
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Where can mucus be collected from, and how is the test carried out>
Mucus taken from mouth, throat or ******, and they are cultured, then examined under a microscope for the presence of bacteria or viruses.
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What is amniotic fluid?
It is the watery liquid surrounding foetus in the womb.
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Amniotic fluid helps to aid the diagnosis of which disorders?
Down's syndrome, spina bifida, sickle cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis.
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Explain amniocentesis.
Done at around 16th wk of pregnancy. Needle syringe inserted through abdomen to penetrate wall of womb. Fluid is then taken. Ultrasounds also used to show position of needle so not to get foetus.
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Name three advantages of bodily fluid sampling.
1) Quick and easy. 2) Little discomfort to patient. 3) Provides a wide range of diagnostic information.
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Name two disadvantages of bodily fluid sampling.
1) Some procedures are invasive. 2) Some procedures carry risks (amniocentesis - miscarriage).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Electromagnetic radiation.

Back

What type of radiation does an X-Ray use?

Card 3

Front

CAN: soft tissues of a person's body. CANNOT: metal, or thick pieces of bones.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Machine produces invisible beam of X-Rays, directed at the specific part of body. Under the part of the body, photographic paper is placed in an envelope. X-Rays then pass through body, and cause changes to paper. Paper developed to see X-ray.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Signs of abnormalities in women's breasts (e.g. cancer)

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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