Medical Term Parts (Related to Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Dx US)

movement, relating to motion picture
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within, inner
end-, endo-
nuclear, nucleus
nucl-, nucleo-
onco-, oncho-
sound, speech
phon-, phono-
salivary glands, saliva
ptyal-, ptyalo-
fever, fire, heat
pyr-, pyro-
salivary glands, saliva
sial-, sialo-
tel-, tele-, telo-
excess, beyond
Uses fluroscopy, CT, US to guide other medical procedures (such as biopsies, fluid drainage, catheter insertion, vessel stenting, dilation).
Interventional radiology
The science of radiation and radioactive substances and their application to medicine. It deals with radioactive substances, x-rays, ionizing radiation for treating and diagnosing disease. Diagnostic imaging encompasses all imaging modalities used in radiology (US, MRI, CT, mammography, PET, traditional x-rays/radiographs).
Imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves
Physcian that specializes in the diagnostic and/or therapeutic use of x-rays, radionuclides, and other imaging techniques. 10-12 years of training to become a radiologist. Diagnostic radiologists assist in tx’s by inserting thin, flexible tubes called catheters and delivering therapy thru interventional methods..
An imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves reflecting off internal body parts to create pictures for identifying the nature or cause of a disorder or for recognition and tx purposes.
Diagnostic ultrasound
Aka radiotherapy. Tx of cancer using radioactive substances.
Radiation oncology
Branch of clinical medicine in which radioactive materials are used to dx and treat diseases.
Nuclear medicine
X-rays; photographs made by projecting x-rays or gamma-rays through the body and onto sensitive film. Often used to diagnose musculoskeletal and lung disorders. To highlight organs and tissues during these diagnostic procedures, various media are used.
Dye or other substance introduced into the body that is opaque to x-rays, thereby allowing a structure’s image to appear on film. Ex: Barium (GI tract), water-soluble compounds containing iodine (blood vessels, glands, genitourinary), air, weakly magnetized substances (MRI).
Contrast medium
Light or radiation does not pass through it, making the outline of the body part easier to visualize on x-ray images.
Atomic nuclei that emit alpha, beta or gamma rays. The half-life (T 1/2) of a particular radioactive material determines the substance’s use as a radiotracer and is used to calculate appropriate dosages.
A radioactive substance introduced into the body as a detector or tag to locate diseased cells or tissue. Generally a radionuclide (radioisotope).
Aka radioisotope. A radioactive substance introduced into the body as a detector or tag to locate diseased cells or tissue.
Absorption of the radiotracer by a tissue.
Alopecia, mucositis, xerostomia, nausea, emesis, myelosuppression
S/E’s of oncology radiation
Reduced development of WBC’s and platelets from the bone marrow
dry mouth
Use of x-rays and other ionizing radiation for the dx and tx of disease.
Diagnostic radiology
A technique for radiographic examination of the heart chambers and thoracic veins and arteries. after intravascular injection of radiopaque dye.
A medical imaging technique used to visualize the inside, or lumen of blood vessels and organs of the body (common types: cardiac, cerebral, peripheral, pulmonary), with particular interest in the arteries, veins, and the heart chambers.
Angiography, arteriography
A procedure that uses special contrast agent to produce detailed X-rays of the upper urinary tract (kidney and ureter). Commonly used to dx conditions including hydronephrosis, ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction and obstruction of the ureters.
Antegrade pyelography
involves placement of a catheter in the aorta and injection of contrast material while taking x-rays of the aorta
Medical imaging (direct, indirect) to evaluate conditions of joints (joint interior). Indirect is a medical imaging technique in which contrast material is injected into the blood stream, which will eventually absorb into the joint. With direct, the contrast material is injected directly into the joint. Direct is the preferred method because it is better for distending or enlarging the joint and imaging small internal structures to allow for better evaluation of diseases or conditions within the joint.
An X-ray examination of the large intestine (colon and rectum by infusing rectum w/barium sulfate. Used to ID obstructions and tumors.
Barium enema, lower GI
A radiographic (X-ray) examination of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, specifically the pharynx, esophagus, and duodenum. These structures are made visible on X-ray film by a liquid suspension called barium sulfate (barium). Barium sulfate ingested orally highlights certain areas in the body to create a clearer picture.
Barium swallow, upper GI
A radiological technique, which involves x-raying the respiratory tree after coating the airways with contrast. Rarely performed, as it has been made obsolete with improvements in computed tomography and bronchoscopy.
A procedure used to dx and treat cardiovascular conditions. A long thin tube called a catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in your groin, neck or arm and threaded through your blood vessels to your heart for visualization. Blood samples can be withdrawn, pressures within the heart and vessels can be measured, contrast medica can be injected for angiography.
Cardiac catheterization
Radiographic examination of the bile ducts with contrast medium. The contrast medium may be administered via a cannula at ERCP or percutaneously (through the skin).
A procedure used to visualize the gallbladder by oral administration of a radiopaque contrast agent that is excreted by the liver. This excreted material will collect in the gallbladder, where reabsorption of water concentrates the excreted contrast. Current medical practice prefers ultrasound and CT over oral cholecystography.
Radiography of an organ in motion. Commonly used to obtain views of the heart and GI tract and to assist in catheter placement.
Cinefluoroscopy, Cineradiography
Corpus cavernosography of the penis is a valuable diagnostic technique in Peyronie disease, priapism, trauma, and especially in the evaluation of male impotence. Because it allows visualization of structural abnormalities within the cavernous tissues, it is particularly useful in the differential diagnosis of organic erectile failure.
Corpora cavernosography
X-ray examination of the bladder using a contrast dye
A radiographic and fluoroscopic study of the lower urinary tract in which contrast is introduced into the bladder via a catheter. Assesses the bladder, urethra, postoperative anatomy and micturition/voiding in order to determine the presence or absence of bladder and urethral abnormalities, including vesicoureteral reflux (VUR).
Cystourethrography (VCUG, MCU)
Examination of bone density using a densitometer (an instrument that measures the amount of light a tissue absorbs or reflects).
Computer-assisted radiography that permits imaging of blood vessels separate from images of bone or soft tissue. Structures enhanced by the contrast medium are removed from the picture to improve the visualization of the vessels.
Digital subtraction angiography
Examination of the intervertebral discs (pads of fibrocartilage between the vertebrae) after the direct injection of a contrast dye.
A radiographic depiction of only the duodenum after introduction of a contrast medium.
Procedure used to diagnose nerve and muscle disorders by measuring electrical activity of muscle tissue.
Electromyography (EMG)
Radiographic examination of the uterus and uterine tubes after injection of a contrast medium into the cavities. Used to diagnose uterine pathology and ID possible causes of infertility.
X-ray of the urine-collecting part of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder using a contrast dye.
Intravenous pyelography (IVP)
Radiographic visualization of lymph channels and nodes after the injection of a radiopaque dye into lymphatic vessels. In cases of cancer, lymph node mapping by this process enables the clinician to locate the sentinel node, which is the lymph node into which a tumor drains. This knowledge allows the surgeon to remove those nodes likely to be cancerous rather than all nodes in the area.
Radiographic examination of breast tissue, occasionally performed with a contrast medium. Used to detect breast tumors and cysts. Mammography screening helps detect disease before signs and sx become apparent.
Procedure for measuring the bony pelvis and fetal head through the use of CT images. Performed to assess whether there will be any difficulty during vaginal childbirth.
Excision of tissue by a guided needle through the skin
Percutaneous needle biopsy
Radiography of bile ducts via needle puncture. Radiopaque dye is delivered thru a needle that is inserted into a hepatic bile duct.
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PCT, PTHC)
The process of taking radiographic views of the hepatic portal venous system after the injection of contrast medium into the spleen or portal vein. The portal system refers to the hepatic portal vein and its branches found in the liver.
Percutaneous transhepatic portography
An operation that enlarges narrowed vascular lumen via a balloon on the tip of a catheter. Once the catheter tip reaches the blockage, the balloon is enlarged to crush the obstruction, thus restoring circulation.
Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)
Procedure for obtaining a graph of heart sounds using a phonoardiograph and an electrocardiogram.
X-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder using a contrast dye.
The examination of any part of the body using x-rays
Radiography of the kidneys after a contrast dye is injected into the ureters, resulting in backward fluid movement.
Retrograde pyelography (RP)
x-ray examination to determine shunt placement
A surgically created bypass or diversion
Radiographic examination of the salivary glands and ducts after they’ve been injected with an opaque dye.
Sialography, ptyalography
Removal of fatty deposits on the inner lining of an artery.
Transluminal atherectomy
Procedure that simultaneously measures pressures in the urinary bladder and urethra.
Radiography of any part of the urinary tract.
X-ray examination of the vas deferns using a contrast medium to determine if blockages are present.
Radiography that highlights structures in one selected plane at a time as the x-ray tube moves, leaving structures in other planes unfocused
A technique combining CT with angiography to view blood or lymphatic vessels
Computed tomographic angiography
Refers to a group of vessels fed by a primary branch of the aorta or branches of the vessel that are being punctured
vascur family
The needle is placed directly into a vessel and is not manipulated into a branch, or that the catheter is negotiated into the thoracic and/or abdominal aorta from any approach
Nonselective arterial catheter placement
A procedure in which the needle is manipulated into another portion of the arterial system from where it was originally inserted
Selective arterial catheter placement
The amount of work required to position a catheter into its destination. Identified as 1st order, 2nd order, 3rd order, etc., depending on the pathway taken. Placing the catheter into a primary branch (1st order) and passing into secondary or tertiary branches is labeled as such.
Vessel ordering
The produce in which a needle is placed directly into a vein with no manipulation into a branch.
Nonselective venous
Require manipulation beyond the vein puncture site. Direct puncture sites are peripheral veins and large veins (inferior and super vena cava used most often).
Selective venous
Removal of a living tissue sample for laboratory examination by taking tissue through a thin, flexible tube which is inserted into the body.
Transcatheter biopsy
A procedure that uses an endoscope, which transmits light and carries images of the internal body back to the observer. Long tube usually inserted through a small incision; used for dx examination and surgical procedures.
Endoscopic catheterization
A lipid (fat) deposit or atherosclerotic plaque. Surgical removal of plaque/lipid deposit.
Atheroma, artherectomy
Imaging blood vessels using MRI
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
Imaging structures using lightwaves
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Water-insoluble salt used as an opaque radiographic contrast medium.
Barium sulfate (BaSO4)
X-ray examination of the splenic and portal vein system after injection of a contrast medium into the spleen.
Radiographic examination of the spinal cord, nerve roots and subarachnoid space after injection of radiopaque dye or air into the space. Used to detect lesion, herniated discs, tumors and cysts.
Radiographic examination of veins after the administration of a contrast dye. Incomplete vein filling indicates obstruction.
Venography, phlebography
X-ray examination that uses mammography and a contrast medium that is injected into the milk ducts. Used to evaluate nipple discharge and an otherwise normal mammography.
Galactography, ductography
Noninvasive medical test to evaluate the lungs, heart and bones of the thoracic area. Useful for diagnosing lunb obstructions and pneumonia. Both A and P view are normally taken.
Chest x-ray
Radiographic examination of the larynx after the mucosal surfaces have been coated with a contrast dye. Performed to evaluate vocal cord function.
Procedures that use high-frequency sound waves to make pictures of structures for medical purposes. During ultrasounography, a pulsing crystal produces sound energy.
Ultrasonography, echography, sonography
Pulse echoes used for diagnosis; applies the Doppler effect to detect movements of scatters (beams of particles), which are usually caused by RBC’s. It is useful for viewing tissues, blood flow, heart strutures, embryos and fetuses.
Doppler ultrasonography
Aka ultrasonic cardiography, ultrasound cardiography. Doppler techniques used to enhance 2D by registering velocity of blood flow within the image on a strip chart. Used to dx valve and structural abnormalities in the heart and blood vessels.
Echocardiography, Doppler echocardiography
Medical use of x-rays, gamma rays, and other radioactive sources. Involves bombarding the site (body tissue) with ionizing radiation to destroy unwated cells and tissues or giving radionuclides in pill form.
Measuring the amount of exposure or dosage of delivered x-rays with an instrument called a dosimeter (which measures the amount of radiation absorbed by the body). Calculations are necessary to determine medicinal dosages.
Exposes the whole body to ionizing radiation; this form of radiotherapy is often given in several doses before bone marrow transplantation to kill any remaining cancerous cells in the patient. Often used along with chemotherapy.
Total body irradiation
Radiotherapy in which the source of irradiation is placed close to the body surface or within a body cavity.
Form of radiation tx in which radioactive needles or other sources are implanted directly in and around tissue to be irradiated.
Interstitial brachytherapy
Involves aiming a beam of x-rays directly at the target through a cylinder during a surgical procedure w/goal to eradicate cancerous growth.
Intraoperative cone irradiation
A palliative cancer therapy involving radiation to half of the body. Can treat multiple disease sites simultaneously and is effective in treating cancer that has spread throughout the body. Some pain and sx alleviated, cause not eliminated.
Hemibody radiation
Often used for tx of prostate cancer. Tx involves the planting of radioactive particles directly in the cancerous tissue.
Radionuclide seeds
Tx w/radiation from a source that is far from the body, or external radiation therapy. Uses a beam of radiation positioned above the pt. that is aimed directly at the tumor. Small ink tattoo fixed to skin so future tx’s are at exact location; usually performed 1 to 5-6 days/wk for several weeks.
Tx of disease by inducing a fever through inoculation with an infection or by physical means (external methods – thermal blankets, radiofrequencies, US, and internal methods – administering pyrogens). Cancer cells are more sensitive to heat than normal body cells, raising the body temperature has therapeutic merit in selectively destroying malignant cells.
Hyperthermia, hyperpyrexia
Use radionuclides and radiation detectors with imaging instruments and computers to view internal structures. The radionuclide is administered either orally or by IV and can be measured by a camera that detects the amount of radiation emitted. Data are converted into a 2D image.
Nuclear scan studies
Nuclear medicine study that determines the amount of blood ejected out of either ventricle in the heart. Assesses the motion of the heart wall.
Radionuclide ejection fraction
Creates images by computer analysis when low-dose radioactively tagged substances are incorporated into tissue. PET scans assess metabolic activity and physiologic function rather than anatomical structure. They are a useful tool for performing experimental living brain investigations. Dx info can be obtained for CNS, cardiac function and for cancer evaluation. These scans can recognize some dementias (Alzheimer, Parkinson, Huntington) and epilepsy. Blood flow and viable heart tissue can also be ID’ed.
Positron emission tomography (PET)
Radioisotopes of iodine are used for nuclear medicine studies. A radioactive chemical or pharmaceutical preparation labeled with a tracer used as a diagnostic or therapeutic agent. Used for studies of thyroid disease and renal function and as a tx for some thyroid disorders.
A method for determining and quantifying antigens (substances that cause the body’s immune system to react) or antibodies (substances produced by the body’s immune system to fight foreign substances or organisms) in the blood using radiolabeled reactants. The tracer-tagged antigen will bind with an antibody, if one exists. If the antigen-antibody complex forms, the attached tracer allows the clinician to readily ID it.
Determines the distribution fo a radioactive tracer in intact tissue via an external scintillation camera placed over the area.
A radioisotope of thallium (Tl) or thallium-201 (201Tl) is used for nuclear imaging of the heart. Thallium is also taken up by some tumors so it can be easily detected.
Thallium scan
Used to detect the presence of Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers. Patients swallow a capsule containing a radioisotope of carbon. If the radioactive substance is detected in the breath, it indicates the bacterium’s presence.
Urea breath test
A method of assessing vitamin B12 absorption. Determines the amount excreted in the urine using a substance tagged with a radioisotope of cobalt.
Schilling test
Uses technetium-99 (99Tc), a synthetic radioactive metallic element. A radiograph of the entire body that is used to evaluate the skeletal system. A high dose of a radioactive substance is injected into the body and the scan reads the distribution of radioactivity. The test identifies connective tissue disease, bone fx’s, and bone infections.
Bone scan
Gallium-67 (67Ga) is used as a tracer to ID tumors and inflammation.
Gallium scan
A radionuclide is administered by IV, the spleen absorbs the radionuclide and an image can be made. Used to dx cysts, abscesses, tumors, ruptures, or splenomegaly (enlarged spleen).
Spleen imaging
A picture of the thyroid gland after it takes up radioactive iodine.
Thyroid imaging
Radioactive iodine is either given orally or by IV; a normal function of the thyroid gland is to absorb iodine to make hormones. The thyroid traps and retains the radioactive iodine; the ability to capture the iodine then indicates how well the thyroid functions.
Radioactive iodine uptake test

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