Digital X-Ray (Digital Radiography)

Digital X-Ray – Functional Principle

The X-ray (radiography) – imaging of the body with the help of X-rays – has been performed in medical diagnostics for more than a 100 years.

X-rays are electromagnetic waves which are generated in an X-ray tube. They penetrate the examined body and are attenuated differently by the various internal structures depending on their density, thickness and composition.

In medical diagnostics X-rays are generated artificially, whereas they also occur as a natural component of sunlight and cosmic radiation. The radiation exposure during a transatlantic flight is approximately the same as that of a lung X-ray performed in two planes.

The main advantage of digital X-ray is a reduction of the required radiation by up to 70 percent. Moreover, the image quality can be improved significantly.in comparison to conventional X-ray. The electronic storage of the image also allows postprocessing of the recording at any time, e.g. details can be magnified, dark spots can be lightened. The repetition of X-ray imaging due to incorrect exposure is no longer a problem.

Other advantages of the digital imaging are on one hand, that the stored images can be easily compared to older ones and on the other hand, that they are readily available at other locations via data transmission, e.g. the practice of your referring physician.

Digital X-Ray – Fields of Application

The digital X-ray imaging is primarily used for the following diagnoses of:

  • thorax, (lung and heart diseases)
  • stomach (stomach ulcer, inflammation, tumours, diaphragmatic hernia, impaired movement)
  • colon (processes of inflammation, polyps, tumours, impaired movement, foreign bodies)
  • kidneys and urinary tract (stone disease, urinary retention, space occupying processes)
  • arm or leg vein (blood clots, thrombus formation, varicose veins)
  • skeletal system (trauma, degeneration, inflammation, tumours)

Digital X-Ray – Process of Examination

Usually, a preparation for the digital X-ray imaging isn’t necessary. If digital radiography of the gastrointestinal tract is planned, you need to fast before the examination. Our medical staff is happy to inform you prior to the procedure.
Before the X-ray imaging, we ask you to take off your clothes which cover the body part in question. Furthermore, all foreign bodies such as jewellery, watches, rings or other metallic objects have to be removed. Depending on the body region to be examined our assistants correctly position you for the X-ray imaging in the examination room. Radiation is targeted specifically on the region of examination using a radiation dose as low as possible. If X-rays from different directions are needed our assistants help you to change position.

Sometimes, it is affordable to use a contrast medium for special examinations, because the natural contrast given is insufficient for the diagnosis. We kindly ask you to take an oral contrast medium prior to the investigation of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas intravenous contrast agents are injected into an arm vein before examining the kidneys, urinary tract, biliary tract or blood vessels.
All of the contrast agents we employ in digital X-ray scanning are generally well tolerated, so that hypersensitivities are very rare.
Usually, a preparation for the digital X-ray imaging isn’t necessary. If digital radiography of the gastrointestinal tract is planned, you need to fast before the examination. Our medical staff is happy to inform you prior to the procedure.
Before the X-ray imaging, we ask you to take off your clothes which cover the body part in question. Furthermore, all foreign bodies such as jewellery, watches, rings or other metallic objects have to be removed. Depending on the body region to be examined our assistants correctly position you for the X-ray imaging in the examination room. Radiation is targeted specifically on the region of examination using a radiation dose as low as possible. If X-rays from different directions are needed our assistants help you to change position.

Sometimes, it is affordable to use a contrast medium for special examinations, because the natural contrast given is insufficient for the diagnosis. We kindly ask you to take an oral contrast medium prior to the investigation of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas intravenous contrast agents are injected into an arm vein before examining the kidneys, urinary tract, biliary tract or blood vessels.
All of the contrast agents we employ in digital X-ray scanning are generally well tolerated, so that hypersensitivities are very rare.

Digital X-Ray – Contraindications

In principle, we can perfom digital X-ray imaging for every patient, so that basically there are no contraindications with the exception of pregnancy. In this case digital X-ray scanning is only recommended if diagnostics is, with no doubt, necessary prior to a vitally important therapy of the expecting mother.

Regarding digital X-ray scans carried out with contrast agents please inform us about pre-existing illnesses (diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypersensitivites, impaired renal function, etc.).

Digital radiography is offered at the following locations of RUHRRADIOLOGIE: Our practices in Dortmund, Witten and Ennepetal.