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Diagnostic tests and procedures

ANGIOGRAPHYx-ray recording of blood vessels. A contrast substance is injected into blood vessels and x-ray pictures are taken of the vessels. Angiography is used to detect abnormalities in blood vessels.
ARTERIOGRAPHYx-ray recording of arteries after injection of a contrast substance into an artery.
BARIUM TESTSx-ray examinations using a liquid barium mixture to lacate disorders in the esophagus, duodenum, small intestine and colon. Taken before or during the examination, barium causes the intestinal tract to stand out in silhouette when viewed through a fluoroscope or seen on an x-ray film. The barium swallow is used to examine the upper GI tract, and the barium enema is for examination of the lower GI tract
CARDIAC CATHETERIZATIONa catheter is passed via vein or artery into the chambers of the heart. This procedure is used to measure the blood flow out of the heart and the pressures and oxygen content in the heart chambers. Contrast material is also introduced into heart chambers and x-ray images are taken to show heart structure
CT SCANx-ray images are taken to show the body in cross-section. Contrast material may be used to highlight structures such as the liver brain or blood vessels and barium can be swallowed to outline GI organs. X-ray images, taken as the x-ray tube rotates around the body are processed by computer to show slices of body tissues most often within the head, chest and abdomen
CHEST X-RAYAn x-ray of the chest may show infection, emphysema, occupational exposure, lung tumors or heart enlargement
CHOLANGIOGRAPHYx-ray recording of bile ducts. Contrast material is given by intravenous injection and collects in the gallbladder and bile ducts or is directly inserted by a tube through the mouth into the bile ducts. X-rays are taken of bile ducts to identify obstructions caused by tumors or stones.
CYSTOGRAPHYx-ray recording of the urinary bladder using a contrast medium so that the outline of the urinary bladder can be seen clearly. A contrast substance is injected via catheter into the urethra and urinary bladder and x-ray images are taken. A voiding cystourethrogram is an x-ray image of the urinary tract made while the patient is urinating.
ECHOCARDIOGRAPHYimages of the heart are produced by introducing high-frequency sound waves through the chest into the heart. The sound waves are reflected back from the heart, and echoes showing heart structure are displayed on a recording machine. It is a highly useful diagnostic tool in the evaluation of diseases of the valves that separate the heart chambers and diseases of the heart muscle.
ENDOSCOPIC RETROGRADE CHOLANGIOPANCREATOGRAPHYx-ray recording of the bile ducts, pancreas, and the pancreatic duct. Contrast is injected via a tube through the mouth into the bile and pancreatic ducts and x-rays are then taken
ESOPHAGOGRAPHYBarium sulfate is swallowed and x-ray images are taken of the esophagus. This test is also called a barium meal or barium swallow and is part of an upper GI examination
FLUOROSCOPYan x-ray procedure that uses a fluorescent screen rather than a photographic plate to show images of the body. X-rays that have passed through the body strike a screen covered with a fluorescent substance that emits yellow-green light. Internal organs are seen directly and in motion. Fluoroscopy is used to guide the insertion of catheters and during barium tests
GALLBLADDER ULTRASOUNDSound waves are used to visualize gallstones. This procedure has replaced cholecystography, which required ingesting an iodine-based substance.
HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAPHYx-ray recording of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Contrast medium is inserted through the vagina into the uterus and fallopian tuves, and x-rays are taken to detect blockage or tumor
LOWER GASTROINTESTINAL EXAMINATIONA liquid contrast substance called barium sulfate is inserted through a plastic tube into the rectum and large intestine. X-ray pictures of the colon are then taken. If tumor is present in the colon, it may appear as an obstruction or irregularity. Also known as a barium enema
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGINGMagnetic waves and radiofrequency pulses, not x-rays, are used to create an image of body organs. The images can be taken in several planes of the body-frontal, sagittal, and transverse -- and are particularly useful for studying brain tumors and tumors of the chest cavity. This procedure is also known as an MRI
MAMMOGRAPHYx-ray recording of the breast. X-ray of low voltage are beamed at the breast and images are produced. Mammography is used to detect abnormalities in breast tissue, such as early breast cancer.
MYELOGRAPHYx-ray recording of the spinal cord. X-rays are taken of the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord after a contrast medium is injected into the subarachnoid space at the lumbar level of the back. Myelography detects tumors or ruptured disks that lie between the backbones and press on the spinal cord.
TOMOGRAPHYx-ray recording that shows an organ in depth. Several pictures are taken of an organ by oving the x-ray tube and film in sequence to blur out certain regions and bring others into sharper focus. Tomograms of the kidney and the lungs are examples.
ULTRASONOGRAPHYImages are produced by beaming sound waves into the body and capturing the echoes that bounce off organs. These echoes are then processed to produce an image, not in the sharpest detail, but showing the difference between fluid and solid masses and the general position of organs.
UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL EXAMINATIONA liquid contrast substance called baium sulfate is swallowed and x-ray pictures are taken of the esophagus, duodenum, and small intestine. In a small bowel follow-through, pictures are taken at increasing time intervals to follow the progress of barium through the small intestine. Identification of obstructions or ulcers is possible
UROGRAPHY/UROGRAMx-ray recording of the kidney and urinary tract. If x-rays are taken after contrast medium is injected intravenously, the procedure is called intravenous urography or intravenous pyelography. If x-rays are taken after injection of contrast medium into the baldder through the urethra, the procedure is retrograde urography or retrograde pyelography.


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