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Overview of Imaging Tests

By

Mehmet Kocak

, MD, Rush University Medical Center

Last full review/revision Apr 2021| Content last modified Apr 2021
Click here for the Professional Version

Imaging tests provide a picture of the body’s interior—of the whole body or part of it. Imaging helps doctors diagnose a disorder, determine how severe the disorder is, and monitor people after the disorder is diagnosed. Most imaging tests are painless, relatively safe, and noninvasive (that is, they do not require an incision in the skin or the insertion of an instrument into the body).

Imaging tests may use the following:

There are some risks of using radiation in medical imaging.

For information regarding imaging tests common for specific diagnoses and screenings, see the following:

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Test your knowledge

Plain X-Rays
X-rays are high-energy radiation waves that can penetrate most substances to varying degrees. Low-dose x-rays produce images that are used for diagnosing medical conditions; high-dose x-rays are used to treat certain cancers. Which of the following is the color of bone when it appears on a low dose x-ray image? 
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