Introduction to Radiology:

m2 studies radiation radiologists objects

Radiation and its effects


The term 'radiation' refers to exposure of patients to high energy beams which can have negative effects on their bodies. Some of these effects are similar to those experienced by survivors of other types of exposure, like after a nuclear explosion or after release of radioactive material from a nuclear power plant accident.

It is important for medical purposes to always try to minimize the amount of radiation that patients are exposed to, and to try to only use radiation when it is likely to be useful in making a diagnosis or a decision about treatment. If possible, imaging should be chosen that has the lowest radiation dose, or has no radiation at all. For some types of disease, the best way to show findings requires use of imaging with radiation. It is often difficult to decide what the best imaging study is for each patient.

From the list of types of imaging below, which do you think involve radiation exposure for patients, and which do not? Which has the highest radiation dose from the list?


computed tomography (CT)

magnetic resonance (MR)

ultrasound (US)

nuclear medicine