Medical imaging has an important role in diagnosing and managing many common health problems. Radiography (X-rays), CT (computerized tomography) and Interventional Procedures use bundles of energy that pass through the body to generate images of the bones and organs. This energy is radiation. Nuclear Medicine exams look at how parts of the body work using small amounts of radioactive tracer, usually given through and IV. Ultrasound and MRI do not use ionizing radiation.
We all are exposed to small amounts of radiation daily from the sun, soil, rocks, buildings, air and water.
This type of natural radiation is called background radiation. The radiation used in medical imaging is often compared to the amount of background radiation a person gets in one year.
In all circumstances, our goal is to ensure that the benefits of medical imaging outweigh any potential risks. Every effort is made so that your examination is performed with as little exposure to the ionizing radiation as is practical. This practice is referred to as ALARA, as low as reasonably achievable.
Read more about ionizing radiation in medical imaging: