Imaging procedure (medicine)
Imaging method (also imaging diagnostics or imaging for short ) is a generic term used in medicine and especially in medical diagnostics . These include various examination methods based on apparatus that provide (two- or three-dimensional) image data of organs and structures of the patient and are primarily used to diagnose disease-related changes.
Imaging methods in this specialized area are based on medical devices , which in this context are also referred to as modalities ; occasionally, however, the term “modality” is also found as a synonym for “imaging procedure”.
The terms imaging procedure , imaging system or imaging method found increasing use in the medical literature from the late 1970s. Early evidence comes from the years 1977 ( ... X-ray and other imaging methods (X-ray tomography, xerography) ... ), 1979 ( ... ultrasound as a superior imaging method ... ) and 1980 (book title: Imaging systems for medical diagnostics ... ). The name spread roughly at the same time as the growing number of new imaging processes (beyond classic X-rays), which made it necessary to create a new, more general term.
Classification of procedures
The imaging processes can be systematized according to various aspects, such as their image generation by means of
- X-rays (e.g. x-rays , fluoroscopy , computed tomography )
- Radionuclides (e.g. scintigraphy , positron emission tomography , single-photon emission computed tomography )
- Ultrasound (e.g. sonography , color Doppler )
- Nuclear magnetic resonance (e.g. magnetic resonance imaging )
- Infrared radiation (e.g. diagnostic thermography)
- Impedance (e.g. electrical impedance tomography or EIT )
- visible light (e.g. endoscopy , optical tomography, video raster stereography )
The selection is usually made by the doctor and is based on the diagnostic requirements. For example, bones are well represented in X-rays, and scintigraphy can, among other things, show the distribution of activity in the thyroid .
Most of the methods provide static images. Ultrasound, fluoroscopy, endoscopy, electrical impedance tomography and, in some cases, MRI can also generate "moving images" for motion sequences, including video recordings and during operations.
The radiological procedures also differ in terms of radiation exposure and the resulting dose . According to the X-ray Ordinance, the selection should be based on the ALARA principle ( as much as necessary, as little as possible ).
EIT of the thorax (transverse section)
Diagnostics in Germany
|Computed tomography (CT)||2,972,307||4,183,728||4,450,125||4,709,286||4,957,593||5,825,017||6,296,363|
|Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)||1,008,944||1,518,625||1,622,007||1,696,235||1,767,005||2,012,067||2,028,008|
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- Case-based hospital statistics (DRG statistics). Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), accessed on March 2, 2020 .