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Clinical radiology utilises a wide range of imaging modalities and techniques to identify and characterise pathology in the body and can be used to investigate any body system or anatomical region.


A CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging test that helps healthcare providers detect diseases and injuries. It uses a series of X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of your bones and soft tissues. A CT scan is painless and non-invasive. You might go to a hospital or imaging centre for your CT scan

For more information visit: CT scan – NHS (


X-rays are the most common imaging test carried out which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumours or bone injuries.

For more information visit: X-ray – NHS (


A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body. MRI can help with viewing injuries, tumours, certain heart problems, and much more.

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Diagnostic ultrasound, also called sonography, or NOUS, is an imaging method that uses sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. These are most frequently associated with pregnancy scans, but is also used for diagnosing and directing treatment for a variety of diseases and conditions.

For more information visit: Ultrasound scan – NHS (

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine (NM) is a term used to cover a wide range of tests using radioactive tracers (radiopharmaceuticals) to assess bodily functions and to diagnose and treat disease. Specially designed cameras allow doctors to track the path of these radioactive tracers. There are many different types of scanners which can be used to look at the tracers movement throughout the body.

These include PET-CT scans, which combine scans to look at the radioactive tracers (PET) as well as using a conversional CT scanner to look at your anatomy. Services may also use Gamma Cameras.

For more information visit: PET scan – NHS (


Fluoroscopy uses x-rays to produce images of the body part under investigation on a fluorescent screen which is coupled to a digital video processor. The images are displayed on a visual display unit in real time.

These images are used to diagnose patients suffering from various disorders including but not limited to swallowing disorders (barium swallow & video fluoroscopy), infertility (HSG), difficulty in passing water and urinary tract infection (Micturating cystogram), follow up checks after gastro-intestinal surgery (water soluble swallow / water soluble enema), and small bowel symptoms (small bowel enema & barium follow through) etc.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional Radiology (IR) is a medical speciality that uses the various imaging and scanning facilities available to offer a range of minimally invasive procedures which in many cases can replace conventional open surgery. Most of the procedures use fluoroscopy and/or ultrasound, done under local anaesthetic and can be done either as day case procedures or require only a very short hospital stay with rapid return to normal activities.

For more information visit: Angiography – NHS ( What is IR? – CIRSE

Other Modalities

Some other imaging tests may be carried out in other parts of the hospital outside of radiology departments. These include:

Bone Density Scan also known as a DEXA Scan – using low dose X-rays, these scans are often used to diagnose or assess your risk of osteoporosis, a health condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break. For more information visit Bone density scan (DEXA scan) – NHS (

Mammogram – breast imaging is most commonly associated with the NHS Breast Screening Programme. However, mammograms can also be carried out when you have symptoms between your appointments. For more information visit: Breast screening (mammogram) – NHS (

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