Fluoroscopy – what is it?


Radiology is a unique science: there are no more branches, named after the man who discovered a fundamentally new method of learning. This method is the study of the human body using x-rays. And the first way through which medicine has turned to the new science, was the fluoroscopy.

As you know, the purpose of x-ray examination is to obtain images of the object and its follow-up study. This requires a radiation source, the object (the patient man according to the testimony, or healthy) and the radiation receiver. Usually a receiver is photographic film, and the result is an x-ray. So is x-rays. What is fluoroscopy?

Currently, the maximum radiation exposure for the physician and patient method is not practically used. It was an opportunity to see the live processes, not a fixed film. For example, moves suspension of barium swallowing of the esophagus into the stomach. Therefore, in addition to radiologist, for performing fluoroscopy could watch, and attending urologist, gastroenterologist, oncologist. In the twenty-first century, this method was superseded by ultrasound, CT and MRI. The resolution of the above readings is wider, the radiation exposure is significantly less (at RKT).

As for efficiency, it is only in the 80-ies of XX century were able to adapt to a method of screening television analog set-top boxes, to record the image results in the form of a film. Prior to that, when carrying out the method of screening was left no documents, and only what I remembered the doctor looking at the screen.

Indications for

Currently, fluoroscopy is used as a means of control by the puncture of the pleural cavity, the indication is exudative pleurisy and pericarditis. In gastroenterology in most cases it is possible to do a series of radiographs, and the only real indication for carrying out this method of research is observation of the promotion of the barium suspension in the moment of swallowing. Even in studies of the intestinal, take series of radiographs with an interval of a few hours.

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The indication for the operation of fluoroscopy are:

  • diverticula of the esophagus;
  • achalasia of the cardia;

  • hernia hiatal.

That is the testimony were those in which the contrast changes its position very quickly.

In some cases, the patient with contrast agent in the intestine need to put, or turn to better identify, for example, the shadow of the tumor. But it is much better at it 3D MRI.

Therefore, almost all indications for which fluoroscopy was used, went to ultrasound, CT and MRI.

In a cardiology examination by this method are shown in the search obyzvestvleniya sections of the heart valves and major blood vessels, because the lime is a contrast agent.

Gynecologists use this technique for conducting hysterosalpingography, it evaluates the uterus and the condition of the pipes.

Surgeons use this technique to under x-ray control to combine bone fragments fractures.

Urologists spend contrasting urethrography in the process of urination, and watch the dynamics of the passage of urine.


Because this technique irradiates maximize both Clinician and patient, contraindications many. The main ones are:

  • pregnancy is an absolute contraindication;
  • childhood is a relative contraindication;
  • pronounced immunosuppression, malignancies, bone marrow, acute leukemia is a relative contraindication.

No preparation of the patient for the study is not required. Sometimes he is given a barium suspension, and, if artrografii over time the patient is in advance injected a contrast agent.

Security research depends on allergies to the contrast substance, and from a possible mutagenic effect when getting substantial doses of radiation.

Where is the study?

Examination by this method can be carried out in a large and diversified medical institutions, e.g. provincial and regional hospitals where there are separate x-ray Department. Currently, the design of health facilities and the procurement of radiological equipment, the ability of fluoroscopy please only gastroenterologists, urologists, traumatologists and cardiologists, and they use the method only rarely.

On an outpatient basis, in clinics, this study is not carried out.

In conclusion, I must say that fluoroscopy is a striking example of how scientific and technical progress gradually ahead of those techniques that were considered cutting-edge and revolutionary a hundred years ago. That this method was on the periphery of the radiation diagnosis, is to blame for the appearance of transistors and then the advent of the technology of print circuit boards on a silicon substrate.

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Fluoroscopy was popular in the era of analog of medicine. In the digital world, she has remained small «Islands of influence», but every day its possibilities are narrowed, as at a relatively low information content, this method carries significant radiation exposure: for example, one fluoroscopy of the stomach gives the patient the same radiation dose as he would have received by making 150 consecutive radiographs of the chest. The choice is yours.