Digital Radiography (X-ray)
X-rays (radiographs) are the most common and widely available diagnostic imaging technique. Most patients initially start with an x-ray, even if they also need more sophisticated tests.
Bones, tumors and other dense matter appear white or light in the images because they absorb the radiation. Less dense, soft tissues and breaks in bone let radiation pass through, making these parts look darker on the X-ray film. Sometimes, to make certain organs stand out in the picture, patients are given barium sulfate or a dye.
For most exams patients dress in a gown. During the exam, it is important for the patient to remain very still. They may be asked to hold their breath to prevent any motion that could degrade the image. Patients are contacted with the results of the testing by the ordering physician.