Radiology is the science that uses medical imaging to diagnose and sometimes also treat diseases within the body.
A variety of imaging techniques such as X-ray radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine including positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose and/or treat diseases. Interventional radiology is the performance of (usually minimally invasive) medical procedures with the guidance of imaging technologies.
The acquisition of medical images is usually carried out by the radiographer, often known as a Radiologic Technologist. The Diagnostic Radiologist, a specially trained doctor, then interprets or “reads” the images and produces a report of their findings and impression or diagnosis. In some places, a Reporting Radiographer, a radiographer with advanced training, may also interpret basic images. This report is then transmitted to the Clinician who requested the imaging. The report can initially be made as a “wet-read” which is a rapid preliminary response to a clinical question, which will generally followed later by a final report. Medical images are stored digitally in the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) where they can be viewed by all members of the healthcare team within the same health system and compared later on with future imaging exams.