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Respiratory System Diagnostic Procedure

Respiratory System Diagnostic Procedure

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Published by: jefroc on Aug 27, 2010
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A chest X-ray is aradiologytest that involves exposing the chest briefly toradiationto produce an image of the chest and the internal organs of thechest. An X-ray film is positioned against the body opposite the camera,which sends out a very small dose of a radiation beam. As the radiationpenetrates the body, it is absorbed in varying amounts by different bodytissues depending on the tissue's composition of air, water, blood, bone,or muscle.
Patients obtaining a chest X-ray will often be requested to use an X-ray gown, and extrametallic objects such as jewelry are removed from the chest and/or neck areas. Theseobjects can block X-ray penetration, making the result less accurate. Patients may beasked to take a deep breath and hold it during the chest X-ray in order to inflate thelungs to their maximum, which increases the visibility of different tissues within the chest.The chest X-ray procedure often involves a view from the back to the front of the bodyas well as a view from the side. The view from the side is called a lateral chest X-ray.Occasionally, different angles are added in order for theradiologistto interpret certainspecific areas of the chest.The radiology technologist or technician is a trained, certified assistant to the radiologistwho will help the patient during the X-ray and actually perform the X-ray test procedure.After the chest X-ray is taken and recorded on the X-ray film, the film is placed into adeveloping machine, and this picture (which is essentially a photographic negative) isexamined and interpreted by the radiologist. 
ComputedTomography(CT) is a powerful nondestructive evaluation(NDE) technique for producing 2-D and 3-D cross-sectional images of anobject from flat X-ray images. Characteristics of the internal structure of an object such as dimensions, shape, internal defects, and density arereadily available from CT images.
During the test, you will lie on a table that is attached to the CT scanner, which isa large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner sends X-rays through the body areabeing studied. Each rotation of the scanner takes less than a second and provides apicture of a thin slice of theorganor area. All of the pictures are saved as a group on acomputer. They also can be printed. 
Alung scanis anuclear scanning testthat is most commonly used to detect a blood clot that is preventing normal blood flow to part of alung (pulmonary embolism).Two types of lung scans are usually done together:
Ventilation scan.
During a ventilation scan, aradioactive tracer gas or mist isinhaled into the lungs. Pictures from this scan can show areas of the lungs thatare not receiving enough air or that retain too much air. Areas of the lung that
retain too much air show up as bright or "hot" spots on the pictures. Areas thatare not receiving enough air show up as dark or "cold" spots.
Perfusion scan.
During a perfusion scan, a radioactive tracer substance isinjected into a vein in the arm. It travels through the bloodstream and into thelungs. Pictures from this scan can show areas of the lungs that are not receivingenough blood. The tracer is absorbed evenly in areas of the lung where the bloodflow is normal. These areas show up with the tracer distributed evenly. Areas thatare not receiving enough blood show up as cold spots.
Before your lung scan, tell your doctor if:
You are or might bepregnant.
You are breast-feeding. Use formula (discard your breast milk) for 1 to 2 daysafter the scan until the radioactive tracer has been eliminated from your body.
Within the past 4 days, you have had anX-raytest using barium contrastmaterial (such as abarium enema) or have taken a medicine (such as Pepto-Bismol) that containsbismuth. Barium and bismuth can interfere with test results. 
Positron emission tomography(PET) is a test that uses a special type of camera and atracer (radioactive chemical) to look at organs in the body.During the test, the tracer liquid is put into a vein (intravenous, or IV) inyour arm. The tracer moves through your body, where much of it collectsin the specific organ or tissue. The tracer gives off tiny positively chargedparticles (positrons). The camera records the positrons and turns therecording into pictures on a computer.

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