Imaging methods in monitoring and diagnosis

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What are the 4 most common imaging devices used by healthcare professionals
X-Rays (including CATs), Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Radioactive Tracers
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What do X-rays image
Bone (clear images)
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What are they often used to diagnose
Bone fractures
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What can they also be used to detect
To monitor a foreign object that may have been ingested or impaled before operation to ascertain damage
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How are they used in a dental surgery
Routinely investigate tooth decay
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What are the advantages of X-rays
Readily available, Quick procedure, provides clear images of bones, Able to penetrate materials and view things not visible, Non-invasive
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What are the disadvantages of X-rays
Potential health risk due to over exposure (of operator or patient) so can not be used too often, Uses ionising radiation so they could cause cancer, Poor image of soft tissues
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How do ultrasounds work
Reflection signature reveals details of the inner structure of the body
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What is the most well known application of ultrasounds
Sonography, produce pictures of foetuses in the human womb
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What are the benefits of ultrasound
Generally safe, diagnostic studies of the foetus are considered to be safe
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When is the only time a diagnostic study on a foetus should be performed
When there is a valid medical indication
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What is the ALARA principle
As Low As Reasonably Achievable, the suggestion that exposure to imaging should always be at the lowest it can be to ensure a good image
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What are the disadvantages of ultrasound
Have trouble penetrating bone, Performs poorly in the presence of gas so gastrointestinal tract and lungs can not be imaged, Depth is limited difficult to image deep in body, Operator dependent (a high level of skill is needed to use it well)
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How does MRI work
Uses radiology to visualise detailed internal structures
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What does MRI provide
Good contrast between different soft tissues, especially useful in imaging the brain, muscles of the heart, and cancers in comparison to X-rays
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What does MRI not use
Ionising radiation
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What are the disadvantages of MRIs
Uses powerful magnetic fields (can not be used if a patient has a tracer, steel plate or lead based tattoos, thank you House MD), uses very cold liquids and are expensive to run (cryogenic liquid), Noisy, Claustrophobic
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How do radioactive traces work
Injected into the body and can be monitored to see the movement of substances around the body
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Where do radioactive tracers go to once in the body
Straight to the organ/tissue of interest
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What can it provide
Useful images of cancers/tumours
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What are the advantages of radioactive tracers
Can label specific atoms (e.g. carbon-4 in glucose) and follow where it goes, Can make almost any biomolecule in radioactive form, Real time images, tracer can be monitored continuously, Excreted from body over time
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What are the disadvantages of radioactive tracers
Hazardous (can ionise cells and cause cancer), Patient may remain radioactive for some time, Needs to be stored safely, Needs to be disposed of safely, May have short half lives so they must be used quickly
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What do X-rays image

Back

Bone (clear images)

Card 3

Front

What are they often used to diagnose

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What can they also be used to detect

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How are they used in a dental surgery

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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