By Eisenberg R., Margulis A.
Scientific imaging now performs a huge function in prognosis, selection of remedy, and follow-up. even if, sufferers are usually intimidated through the a number of imaging modalities to be had, the indicators for his or her use, the implementing gear, what the examinations are like and the way lengthy they final, and the benefits and downsides of assorted strategies. This booklet is designed to supply factors for those and different concerns so as to relieve a number of the anxiousness on the topic of clinical imaging experiences.
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Extra info for A patient's guide to medical imaging
The more upright the patient is positioned, the clearer the resulting image. Portable images of the abdomen are usually obtained with the patient supine. At times, the patient may be asked to lie on the side, with the cassette placed behind the back and the x-ray tube positioned in front so that the beam is parallel to the bed. This so-called lateral decubitus view is used to evaluate the amount of ﬂuid in the pleural space or to determine whether there is any free air in the abdomen that indicates a perforated bowel.
However, this comes at the cost of a huge increase in radiation exposure, since hundreds of individual x-ray scans are obtained during the procedure. Sophisticated CT scans of the abdomen or chest are associated with a radiation dose 50–100 times that of a two-view plain chest radiograph. Manufacturers of CT equipment and radiologists are working together to reduce the radiation dose as much as possible without jeopardizing diagnostic quality. For example, studies have shown that images obtained by reducing the current within the x-ray tube can decrease exposure by up to 50% without reducing the detectability of known abnormalities such as pulmonary nodules or pulmonary emboli.
If the barium stays in your intestine, it can harden and cause constipation or even a blockage. Therefore, it is important to drink plenty of liquids to help ﬂush it out of your body. Your doctor may suggest that you take a mild over-the-counter laxative. What Will You Feel? Some patients ﬁnd the thick consistency of the barium unpleasant and difﬁcult to swallow. Another common complaint is the chalky taste of the barium, though in many radiology departments this is camouﬂaged by adding a sweet ﬂavor such as chocolate or strawberry.