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Types of Medical Imaging

Types of Medical Imaging

One of the things patients may undergo is have some kind of “imaging” done on their bodies. These imaging tools help doctors scrutinize details of the ailing part of the body that are not visible to the naked eye, and pinpoint very specific areas of disease and treatment.

Medical Imaging Tools

Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray in November 1895. Röntgen, a physicist, introduced “radiographs” in January 1896 at the 50-year anniversary meeting of the Society of Physics. A few weeks later, a medical journal acknowledged the clinical potential of “radiographs” when it published an article of a “radiograph showing a glass splinter lodged in the finger of a 4-year-old. The commercialization and mass production of X-ray tubes spread this technology around the globe, and within a few years radiography was recognized as a great medical advance.”1

Today, medical imaging comes in various forms and power. Below are brief descriptions of these imaging tools to help patients understand their importance, utility, advantages and disadvantages.

Plain X-ray

The X-ray as an imaging device shows images of bones, some tumors and other dense matter.

1. Quick, painless, and non-invasive
2. Helps diagnose broken bones, some cancers and infections
Very small risk of cancer in the future—especially for children—from exposure to ionising radiation (X-rays).

Computed Tomography (CT Scan)

The CT Scan has the ability to show detailed images inside the body, including bones, organs, tissues, and tumors.

1. Quick and painless
2. Helps diagnose more diseases than plain X-ray
3. Helps pinpoint or exclude the presence of more serious problems
4. Helps verify the recurrence of a previously treated disease

1. Small increased risk of cancer in the future—especially to children—due to exposure to higher doses of ionising radiation (X-rays)
2. May need to inject patient with a contrast medium (dye), which causes kidney problems or allergic or injection-site reactions in some people
4. May require anesthesia

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

The MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to show detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bones, ligaments and cartilage.

1. Usually painless and non-invasive
2. Uses no ionising radiation
3. Helps diagnose a wide range of conditions
4. Helps provide similar information to CT Scan in some cases

1. Can be lengthy and noisy
2. Slight movements can ruin the image, requiring a re-test
3. Can make some people feel claustrophobic
4. Requires the patient to be very still, and so may need to sedate or anesthesize those who can’t stay still—particularly children
5. May need to inject patient with a contrast medium (dye), which cause kidney problems or allergic or injection-site reactions in some people
6. Sometimes can’t be done on patients with special conditions such as when a heart pacemaker is present

Nuclear Medicine Imaging Including Positron-Emission Tomography (PET)

With PET imaging, the patient is injected with, inhales, or swallows a radioactive ‘tracer’. The PET scanner uses the gamma rays emitted by this material to show images of bones and organs.

1. Usually painless
2. Helps diagnose, treat, or predict the outcome for a wide range of conditions
3. Unlike most other imaging types, can show how different parts of the body are working and can detect problems much earlier
4. Can check how far a cancer has spread and how well treatment is working

1. Patient will be exposed to ionising radiation (gamma-rays)
2. The radioactive material may cause allergic or injection-site reactions in some people
3. May need to sedate patients who may feel claustrophobic


The Ultrasound is an imaging equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce moving images of the inside of the body, including organs, soft tissues, bones, and an unborn baby, that are then projected onto a screen monitor.

1. Usually safe, relatively painless, and non-invasive
2. Uses no ionising radiation
3. Does not usually require injection of a contrast medium (dye)
4. Can help diagnose a range of conditions in different parts of the body, such as the abdomen, pelvis, blood vessels, breast, kidneys, muscles, bones and joints
5. Can be used to check on the health of a baby during pregnancy

1. Quality and interpretation of the image highly depends on the skill of the person doing the scan
2. Other factors can affect image quality, including the presence of air and calcified areas in the body (e.g. bones, plaques and hardened arteries), and a person’s body size
3. In some ultrasounds, patients may need to have a special probe placed in their esophagus, rectum or vagina
4. Patient may need to have special preparations before the procedure such as fasting or having a full bladder


  1. Imaging Explained, NPS Medicinewise; last accessed Oct. 10, 2019
  2. Understanding Medical Radiation, Siemens Healthineers; last accessed Oct. 10, 2019


1 The Eclectic History of Medical Imaging, Imaging Technology News; last accessed Oct. 10, 2019

Related Article: What to Expect on Your First Chiropractic Visit by Kristy Donnelly, D.C.

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Dr. Allamm Morales, M.D.

Dr. Allamm Morales has over 15 years experience in personal injury and a wide range of neurological disorders. He has privilege, and provides patient care in local Baptist hospitals.

He was Chief Resident at the Neurology Residency Program of the University of South Florida, and worked at the Florida Hospital of New Smyrna, and St. Luke Hospital in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He also served many years with the Florida Neurology Institute, Inc.

Dr. Morales is a Diplomate of the American Board of Vascular Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Morales studied in Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL, had residency at the Caibarien General Hospital, Cuba, and obtained the MD degree at the Superior Institute of Medical Science in Cuba.

Fiaz Jaleel, M.D.
Physical Medicine & Rehab, Pain Management

“Life is short and precious. As a Physiatrist and Pain Physician my goal for my patients is to reduce their pain and suffering, enhance form, improve function and ultimately promote the best quality of life for that individual.”

Dr. Fiaz Jaleel graduated from the University of The West Indies in 1987. He completed a two year internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL and went on to do a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis , MO. In 2007, Dr. Jaleel joined the team at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians as Medical Director. He is currently Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine via the American Board of Pain Medicine.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Jaleel held positions as an Intern, House officer, and District Medical Officer. He has also practiced in Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Central and North Florida.

While practicing in Trinidad , Dr. Jaleel also worked in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Neonatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine and Community Medicine.

Dr. Jaleel has encountered many diseases, disorders and clinical situations related to multiple aspects of trauma including penetrating and non-penetrating injuries, motor vehicular accidents and concomitant injuries including intra-abdominal injuries, closed head injuries, fractures and burns.

When not treating his patients, Dr. Jaleel enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Jaleel has the following affiliations:
Diplomate, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diplomate, American Board of Pain Medicine
Fellow, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, Florida Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Medical Association

Deric L. D’Agostino, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician

“The health of a body is in direct proportion to the health of its nervous system. The nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body, tap into that and “miracles” will most certainly happen!”

Dr. Deric D’Agostino attended the Logan College of Chiropractic and has been helping patients at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians for the past nine years. Around here we call him “Dr. D.”

Dr. D’Agostino specializes in Koren Specific Technique and in the treatment of injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. He is a master of his craft and firmly believes that chiropractic treatment can not only help the body but also the mind. His sense of humor and the personal attention that he provides really puts patients at ease.

Dr. D’Agostino genuinely listens to the patient while working very hard to erase their pain-inducing symptoms. He is always seeking out continuing education and new methodology to add to his care repertoire.

When he is not helping patients find relief, Dr. D’Agostino enjoys training for sprint triathlons, gardening, as well as being an awesome father and husband. You will most likely find him at our Arlington location dawning a huge smile while drinking his homemade juice.