For well over 100 years, doctors and scientists have used the very first body imaging test, the X-ray. The X-ray is used more widely and more often than any other body imaging test, and can be used on any part of the body. It uses electromagnetic radion waves, and penetrate into the body. The image can be made ready within minutes and, after being revued by a physician or radiologist, will show an accurate image of whatever part of the body was scanned. The X-ray is most widely used in finding broken, fractured, and changed bones, but is also used for many other things. There are many different types of X-ray, for example a Myelogram is an X-ray test of the spine. Other types of X-rays include fluoroscopy, or an X-ray of a moving object or person, an intravenous pyelogram is an X-ray of the kidneys, bladder, and ureters. .
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI's are a newer and more advanced system that X-ray. They use radio waves and magnetism to produce very detailed images that that differenciate between different layers of tisuue. MRI's use radio to emite the natural magnetism inside the nucleus of an atom when reaching a specific part of the body. Then a computer reads the information and creates an image. Because MRI's are extremely detailed, the are most useful in diagnosing didease or injury in the head or spinal column, kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract, pancreas and liver, but can be used on any part of the body. They are usually used to detect infections and abnormalities, but can be useful in detecting injuries such as torn ligaments or ripped tendons. There are two major reasons why MRI's are not used as often or as widely as X-rays. One, is that MRI's are very expensive, and two, they can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete. This can be a problem when used on children or very anxious people, but that can usually be solved in the same way most problems with patiens are, drug them up.