Radiology – Definition, Types, Benefits and Side Effects

Progress in medical science always brings a new thing that is useful in healing. Medical science itself has many branches that have their own specialties. Although there are differences between one another, basically health science will always be related to one another. This cannot be separated, because progress in one field, will require another field to be able to support it.

This relationship is a kind of mutualism symbiosis that is mutually beneficial. One of the big jumps in the field of health is the existence of scientific branches that study radiology. One branch is very helpful in the development of other very important scientific branches.

If we discuss the branch of radiological science, we will always meet with some aspects of radiation. The radiation aspect itself is widely used in the branch of nuclear medicine. As we know that radiation is very closely related to nuclear reactions themselves. This time we will discuss more Radiology, about things that are very closely related in that field.


As mentioned above Radiology itself is one branch of science in the field of medicine. The scientific branch itself is more focused on the use of radiation beams to be able to see the inside of the human body. In the early stages of the development of radiological science in the field of medicine, many radiological procedures focused on using x-ray as one of the media.

But along with the rapid development of technology and science, the use of x-ray rays began to change. This change is because there is a new method that is more accurate. In addition, the use of x-ray rays also turned out to be not very effective for some parts of the human body.

The development of medical science began to penetrate using a variety of waves of higher frequency. The use of ultrasonic waves began to be found in various medical devices. The application of ultrasonic waves and electromagnetic waves to replace x-ray light itself is widely applied in equipment such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

When Is Radiology Used?

Radiology will be used usually if it turns out that the patient in question requires further and more serious treatment. A patient will usually see a radiology expert with recommendations from a general practitioner.

Usually, determining whether the patient needs to see a radiologist can be seen from the patient’s x-ray results. If it turns out that the use of x-ray results is deemed lacking, the patient will be referred to a radiology expert. Some diseases that usually require handling by a radiologist, such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Osteoporosis or bone fragility
  • Broken bones or also commonly called fractures
  • Bone abnormalities
  • Breast cancer
  • Appendix

Apart from only being used to determine the type of disease, radiology itself can also function as a method of treatment. Usually, this is done by combining radiological methods with other treatment methods. One treatment method that uses radiology is angioplasty.

This method is usually used when patients experience constriction of blood vessels. So that handlers are needed to widen their blood vessels.

Types of Radiology Tests

In the field of radiology itself, there are several types of tests that we can find. This type of test is usually closely related to the treatment method and the type of disease that must be identified.

Some types of radiology tests that we can find such as:

  • Radiography can be said to be the initial method of the radiology world. This method itself still uses X-ray rays. This method is often used because it is cheaper and the speed of results that can be obtained. But the results of X-ray examinations are only limited to the structure of the body, namely bone.
  • Ultrasonography (USG) this method uses ultrasonic waves as a medium. The use of this method is usually used in terms of being able to detect pregnancy. However, this method cannot be used to detect body parts that contain a lot of gas.
  • Computed Tomography Scan or CT Scan method uses electromagnetic waves as a medium to get results. In addition, the results of the examination can be displayed in 3D. This method is quite often used because it provides a fairly detailed picture of the results
  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Image method uses electromagnetic waves that are strong enough but can be said to be relatively safe for the body. This method itself can be said to be a fairly accurate method for detecting abnormalities in the body. This method is usually used to detect several types of cysts.
  • SPECT method uses radiation emission of low gamma isotopes that are safe enough for the body. Usually, this method is used to detect abnormalities in the organs that are more specific to the body.
  • PET Scan method is a method of combining SPECT with CT Scan. For the results shown also can be more accurate and detailed  

Benefits of Radiology Tests

As mentioned above, the radiology test itself is an important test. Although the test results from the radiology test sometimes have to be combined with other testing tests. However, the results obtained from this test will be an important reference.

The results of radiology testing alone can be used as a reference to take action more quickly. This is because the results of radiology testing will be more quickly obtained than laboratory sampling tests that require more time. With the accuracy of the various tools used, it is possible for doctors to be able to take the right steps to deal with the disease from the patient concerned.

As we know that radiology does not only function as a medium to diagnose the type of disease from patients. However, radiology can also be used as a method of treatment. The use of radiology techniques as a treatment technique can also be called Radiology Intervention.

Interventional radiology itself is now frequently used in the medical field. This is because the use of this technique will minimize the availability of open surgery, besides this method itself is also safer because it can avoid several possibilities that will be obtained from open surgery.

Some treatment methods that use interventional radiology techniques such as:

  • Angioplasty
  • Inferior Vein Cava Filter (ICV Filter)
  • Gastronomic tube
  • Bile Stents 

Is Radiology Related to Cancer Treatment?

Yes, radiology techniques are often used for handlers in the field to cure cancer. This technique is usually referred to as Radiotherapy and is very closely related to nuclear medicine treatment techniques. This is because radiotherapy uses an active radio beam to destroy the cancer cells contained in the patient’s own body.

Although the main goal is the destruction of cancer cells, we cannot avoid being infected by normal cells by radiation. Even though normal cells that are reduced to radiation will be destroyed, the cell will regenerate and repair itself. Although the process of repairing the cell sometimes requires a considerable amount of time and some drugs are needed.

Radiotherapy which is often used to destroy cancer cells is divided into three types:

  • The external method of this method itself uses tools that come from outside the body to emit radiation beams into the patient’s body. The use of this method does have a considerable risk of being exposed to normal tissue by radiation.
  • The internal method of this method itself uses equipment implanted into the patient’s body. The implanted device will be placed not too far from the cancer cell. This method is relatively safe because it can minimize the possibility of exposure to normal cells by radiation.
  • The systematic method of this method requires the patient to take the medicine or the doctor will administer drugs containing radiation. The drug will flow with the bloodstream. Patients who use this method are usually recommended for hospitalization.

Side Effects

Every method of treatment is not impossible to have hazards and side effects that will affect the performance of organs. This also applies to several radiological methods that are widely used. There are some X-ray dangers that we need to know.

These side effects arise from several electromagnetic waves and the use of gamma isotope radiation. Although the use in doses is quite low, it still has an effect that is felt enough for the body. These effects will be felt even more if we use the method regularly and at times that are quite frequent. This can be found in patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Some side effects that can arise for our body include:

  1. Decreased Levels of Red Blood Cells

This decrease is caused by direct x-ray rays on the body. This effect will be felt even more if the patient is too often exposed to x-ray rays. Reduction of red blood cells itself will result in patients suffering from anemia.

  1. Skin Irritation

Famous body parts with x-ray exposure will be more susceptible to skin irritation. This is because some of the effects that will occur are the skin will redden and dry out then it will become itchy. But there are also those who experience different things, the skin will become moister and make it easy to experience blisters. 

  1. Indigestion

This is very often found in those who use the radiology method. Some patients sometimes experience digestive disorders such as nausea and the like. If the symptom appears, the patient should consult a doctor immediately and get good treatment quickly.

  1. Mouth Disorders

It is usually in the form of teeth that will quickly become porous. Canker sores are more likely to appear. The mouth will always dry due to thicker saliva.

  1. Decreased Sperm Production
  2. Women’s Menstrual Disorders

That is some information about Radiology that we could understand. Hopefully, this information is useful.

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Kategori : Medication