Radiology: History of Radiology and Its Types

By Dr. Deepak P. Patkar in Radiology

Apr 24 , 2023 | 3 min read

Radiology is a term that almost everyone is well acquainted with as it holds immense importance in the detection as well as treatment of a broad spectrum of medical conditions and touches almost all the specialities be it orthopaedics, cardiology, oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology etc. As per the best radiologist in Mumbai, radiology is an umbrella term used for a group of imaging techniques that play a pivotal role in the diagnosis, assessment, evaluation and treatment of various medical conditions. You can find some of the best radiology hospitals in Mumbai where all the latest radiology procedures are offered.

Radiology is one of the youngest branches of medicine with a history of around 100 years. It all began with the discovery of X-Rays by Prof Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen in the year 1895, the news of which spread like wildfire. He spent the next few weeks studying and researching about the same and found out that these X-rays could easily pass through human tissues and hence could help to detect any foreign particles in the body. It was a miraculous discovery that faced a lot of praises as well as criticism as the harmful effects of these X-rays soon came into light. With further studies and development, most of the risks were evaded and X-rays were started to be used in clinical practice. This further led to the development of endoscopy, mammography, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and various catheter-based interventions. The last three decades of the 20th century have seen a paradigm shift in the scope of radiology with the advent of modern imaging modalities like Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) all of which are offered at the best hospitals in India.

Types of Radiology:

Depending upon the approach used during the procedure, the best specialists in India broadly classify Radiology into two categories:

1. Diagnostic radiology- It involves a broad spectrum of imaging techniques to see the various structures and organs inside the body to determine the root cause of your problem, monitor the progress of your treatment and conduct various screenings. Some of the most common procedures include:

  1. Computed Tomography (CT) scan.
  2. Fluoroscopyfor obtaining real-time moving images of the internal organs.
  3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  4. Mammography for breast screening.
  5. Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA).
  6. Nuclear Medicine.
  7. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging/scan. PET combined with CT scan can be used for the detection of various malignancies.
  8. Ultrasound.

2. Interventional radiology- It involves the use of imaging guidance to administer medical therapies with the help of catheter, wires and needles. This involves tiny keyhole incisions and use of special die that help to generate clearer images. Interventional radiology has proved to be a boon for cancer patients. The procedures can be performed under moderate sedation. Some of the most common interventional cardiology procedures include:

  1. Angiography/angioplasty and stent placement in patients with narrowed or blocked arteries to evaluate the extent of blockage and clear it.
  2. Embolization to stop the flow of blood in a particular area of the body to treat a tumour or aneurysm.
  3. Radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, or microwave ablation to burn tumours.
  4. Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty to treat vertebral compression fractures.
  5. Needle biopsies of different organs, like lungs, uterus etc. to detect any abnormality or malignancy.
  6. Breast biopsy for breast cancer.
  7. Uterine artery embolization to halt blood flow to the uterine.
  8. Feeding tube placement in patients who are not able to swallow their food.
  9. Venous access catheter placement, such as ports and PICCs.

Also Read About Types of Radiology Techniques

Medically Reviewed

Dr. Deepak P. Patkar (Director - Medical Services & Head - Imaging)

Dr. Deepak P. Patkar is the Director - Medical Services & Head - Imaging at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital with an experience of over 32 years. He has been an alumnus of world-renowned Cornell University, New York and Guys Hospital, London. He specialises in modern imaging, with special attention to neuroradiology, small part ultrasonography, Peripheral Colour Doppler, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mammography and CT scanning. He is also considered an expert in Neuroradiology and Musculoskeletal Imaging. 

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