Continued X -rays are the most common tool used to “see” inside your body and take pictures of bones. For the most detailed pictures of the spine and all its parts, doctors often suggest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
You doctor may also ask that you get images from the front and the side of your spine, or while you stretch or bend. But you may be in the room for longer, depending on how many images and views your doctor needs.
Doctors diagnose osteoarthritis by considering a patient's medical history, physical examination, and images of the affected joints. While X -rays are used to reveal the appearance of osteoarthritic joints to diagnosticians, there is not always a direct correlation between what the X -rays show and the symptoms of osteoarthritis that a patient is experiencing.
Progressively smaller joint space suggests worsening of osteoarthritis. Osteophytes, which typically develop as a reparative response by remaining cartilage, cause pain and limited range of motion in the affected joint.
Check out the pleural effusions on that guy! Below is a list of terms that radiologists use to describe chest X -rays. Curious cats can check out my previous post about X -rays for a more complete review of the physics.
Silhouette sign : The concept behind this term is among the most important in chest X -rays, and is drilled into the head of every radiologist during training. When two structures of different density (e.g. the heart and the lungs) lie next to each other, a visible border forms at the interface.
For example, a radiologist may describe the border of the heart as being “silhouetted” or “obscured” by an adjacent lung process. When X -rays are absorbed or blocked by something, such as the thick pus and mucous of a pneumonia, this shows up as a brighter spot on the lungs.
Consolidation or Infiltrate : Before we understand these interchangeable terms, first we need to talk a bit about lung anatomy. As you breathe in, air first enters your trachea (windpipe) and then branches out into progressively smaller airways until it reaches the end: microscopic bubbles called alveoli, where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs.
These terms don’t have any fancy doctor meaning beyond the dictionary definitions, but you will often see them in a radiology report. Atelectasis (from the Greek tells stasis, literally “imperfect extension”) simply means collapse.
Magnified image of the right lower lung shows linear densities representing small areas of scarring. In its more common manifestation, pneumonia is caused by a bug that forms pus in the airways and alveoli, resulting in consolidation in part of the lung.
More rarely, viruses and certain bacteria can preferentially infect the interstitial tissues and result in an interstitial lung pattern; this is called an “atypical pneumonia” or “walking pneumonia.” Pulmonary Edema: Pulmonary edema occurs when too much fluid accumulates in the lungs. As the disease process worsens, fluid spreads into the alveoli and airways, causing consolidation.
If a radiologist sees lumps and bumps around the heart and mediastinum that are not explained by normal structures, adenopathy may be present, and a chest CT should be obtained. The pleural cavity is sandwiched between two thin membranes called the pleura, one of which covers the outside of the lungs and the other the inside of the rib cage.
If it is large enough, one can see a horizontal line representing the top of the fluid collection with slight sloping up on each side, a characteristic shape called a meniscus. Many types of conditions can cause pleural effusions, with heart failure and pneumonia among the more common ones.
Red arrows mark the edge of the lung, with gas in the pleural cavity (pneumothorax) above this level. CABG: Doctors actually pronounce this abbreviation as “cabbage,” but not to worry, you don’t have sauerkraut in your chest.
When the whole heart enlarges, the most common causes are related to high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. In the setting of cardiomegaly, the heart will ultimately need to be evaluated with other testing such as CT, MRI, or echocardiogram (ultrasound).
Sunrise from the top of Haleakala, MauiRadiology reports can resemble a foreign language if one is not familiar with the terminology. This post is no Rosetta Stone, but I hope the definitions at least give you an idea of what the heck we radiologists are talking about.