Overview

General X-Ray
Also known as radiography, X-Rays are the oldest medical imaging modality. They have been in use since 1895 when they were discovered by a German physicist named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. Nearly two weeks after his discovery, he took the very first picture using X-Rays of his wife's hand, Anna Bertha. This achievement earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.

Today, radiologists use X-Ray to report both normal and abnormal conditions in the body. The most commonly obtained plain films are generally of the chest, abdomen and bones. Plain films may aid in the diagnosis of chest, abdominal or joint pain, difficulty breathing, fever, vomiting and traumatic injury diagnosing conditions such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, fractures and arthritis. X-Ray beams can pass through your body, but they are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-Rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle look like varying shades of gray. During the examination the patient will be positioned appropriately between the X-Ray tube and the electronic detector system by an experienced, certified technologist. Care will be taken to ensure that the x ray beam is directed only to the body part being imaged. For certain examinations, multiple images may be obtained. The images obtained are then processed and sent to the radiologist for review, interpretation and reporting. The exam generally takes only a few minutes.

Radiologic Technologists are registered with American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) and licensed by the Texas Department of Health (TDH). All technologists participate in continuing education annually to fulfill their licensure credentialing requirement.

Women should inform their physician if they are pregnant, or if there is any possibility they may be pregnant.

Radiation Dose: Special care is taken during X-Ray examinations to use of the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation.


Bone Density Scan (DEXA)
Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy X-Ray absorptiometry (DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of X-Ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DEXA is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. It is a painless and quick procedure for measuring bone loss. DEXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

The DEXA test can also assess an individual's risk for developing fractures. The risk of fracture is affected by age, body weight, history of prior fracture, family history of osteoporotic fractures and life style issues such as cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These factors are taken into consideration when deciding if a patient needs therapy.

On the day of the exam you may eat normally. You should not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your exam.

Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography (CT) scan or radioisotope scan; you may have to wait 10 to 14 days before undergoing a DEXA test.

Radiologic Technologists are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) and licensed by the Texas Department of Health (TDH). All technologists participate in continuing education annually to fulfill their licensure credentialing requirement.

Women should always inform their physician or X-Ray technologist if there is a possibility they are pregnant.

Radiation Dose: Special care is taken during X-Ray examinations to use of the lowest radiation dose possible while producing the best images for evaluation.