An X-ray is an imaging based diagnostic test that uses radiation to show the internal condition of a part of the body. X-rays are commonly used to diagnose fractures, fluid build-up, and various internal anomalies. X-ray technology makes use of radiation such as radio waves or light, which is focused into a beam. These rays can pass through most opaque objects, including human skin and tissue.
Bones and other dense tissues in the body absorb many of the X-rays, which appear white on an X-ray image. Organs and muscles, which are lesser dense, absorb fewer X-rays, and appear in varying shades of grey on an X-ray image. X-rays pass completely through air, which shows in black on the image.
Digestive Tract X-rays
A number of commonly performed X-ray tests can help a physician to examine the condition of the digestive tract from the esophagus to the rectum. These X-rays can be accompanied by a test called colonoscopy. The test procedure uses barium or another iodine containing agent to reveal the details of the digestive tract. Fluoroscopy X-rays are conducted to enable the area of the body to be studied in motion and recorded on a video monitor.
Spinal X-rays are images of the spine, which may be taken to identify a disease or an injury that may impact the joints or discs in the spine. Spinal X-rays may be performed in case of possible spinal infections, fractures, dislocations, bone spurs, tumors, or disc disease. If the patient suffers from scoliosis or other spinal defects, a spinal X-ray may be performed.
A chest X-ray may show a complete image of the chest, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, airway, and lymph nodes. It may also show the spinal bones and chest bones, including breastbone, ribs, collarbone, and top portion of the spine. It is the most common diagnostic test to identify problems inside the chest.