What are the types of radiology

Radiology & Nuclear Medicine

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The radiology (Radiation medicine) deals with the medical use of various types of radiation such as X-rays or ultrasound. This serves both the diagnosis and the therapy of various diseases.

Imaging procedures

With the help of various radiological procedures, Pictures of the inside of the body and thus detect pathological changes. Sometimes the patient will be there too Contrast media injected, which clarify the metabolic activity in certain areas of the body and thus improve imaging. Important imaging procedures are:

  • Conventional X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Functional magnetic resonance therapy (fMRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Mammography
  • PET (positron emission tomography) and PET-CT
  • SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)
  • Ultrasound (sonography)
  • Echocardiography
  • Scintigraphy (a nuclear medicine procedure: see below)

Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology is not about the diagnosis, but the treatment of diseases: therapeutic interventions are carried out during the imaging.

In a biopsy, for example, pathologically altered tissue is removed from the body with the aid of images (e.g. by means of CT or MRT). During an angioplasty, a narrowed or blocked blood vessel is widened with the help of a special catheter under X-ray control.


Radiation therapy is another branch of radiology. Electromagnetic waves are used to destroy cancerous tumors, for example.

Nuclear medicine

Nuclear medicine is also often viewed as a branch of radiology. It uses so-called radionuclides (radioactive particles) to diagnose and treat diseases:

  • With the help of radionuclides, for example, tumors and metastases can be detected.
  • Nuclear medicine therapy is, as it were, radiation therapy from within. The drugs administered penetrate directly to the diseased cells and destroy them with radioactive rays. This is less stressful for healthy tissue than classic radiation therapy.

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