Diagnostic Radiology/Fluoroscopy

Some internal organs—such as kidneys, blood vessels and the organs of the gastrointestinal tract—can best be visualized on X-ray film when the patient ingests a contrast material. This blocks nearly all photons and makes tissues in which the contrast is distributed appear bright white. The contrast medium may be given orally, intravenously or rectally, depending upon the area to be studied.

Fluoroscopy: Fluoroscopy is a type of X-ray that captures moving images, allowing the radiologist to observe the functioning as well as the anatomy of internal organs. Common exams that use fluoroscopy include upper gastrointestinal exams (UGI), barium enemas (BE) and swallowing studies. It also is used to quickly guide the radiologist when performing a procedure that involves placing a tube, catheter or other device internally. Examples of such use include angiography, myelograms and interventional radiology procedures. For nearly all of these exams, static or still images also are taken to document what is seen or done at the time of the exam. A fluoroscopy unit consists of three components: the fluoroscope, which moves over the body part of interest; the monitor that displays the moving image; and the X-ray tube that generates the X-rays that pass through the body and create the image on the fluoroscope. As with any X-ray, you do not feel any sensations from fluoroscopy itself.