Normal chest x-ray.

A frontal x-ray of a normal wrist.

Frontal view of a wrist fracture.

Lateral view of a normal wrist.

Lateral view of a wrist fracture.

What is General Radiology?

General radiology most often refers to diagnostic x-rays used to help identify disease or injury inside the body.

X-ray -- using radiation passing through the body to produce an image on a special film --  was discovered in 1885, and is considered a milestone in the development of modern medicine. For the first time, physicians were able to see inside the body to detect injury and disease, often in its early stages when the illness or injury is most treatable.

What to Expect During an X-ray

During an x-ray, a machine is used to send x-rays through your body. Radiation is absorbed by the more dense parts of your body, which produces a lighter image on the x-ray picture called a radiograph. The less dense areas of the body (soft tissue) absorb less radiation and appear darker on the x-ray.

Common x-ray studies used to detect disease and injury include:

  • Chest Exam - used to diagnose diseases of the heart and lungs

  • Bone Studies - used to determine the relationship between bones and visualize fractures

  • Digestive System Studies - used to detect diseases such as ulcers and tumors.

  • Searching for Foreign Bodies - used to locate objects in the body that should not be there

  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) - Used to study the kidneys and ureters to the bladder.

Preparing for an X-ray

There are different types of preparation guidelines for different procedures. You will need to talk with your doctor about any preparation you will need to make prior to your x-ray.

Preparing for Specific Types of X-ray Studies

Guidelines for Kidney x-ray (IVP)

  • At 3 p.m. on the day before your x-ray is scheduled, take four tablets of Dulcolax.

  • You will need to have a liquid diet for your evening meal and try to consume lots of fluids throughout the evening

  • You may have nothing by mouth one hour before the exam

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Computed Tomography


Angiography &
Interventional Radiology

Diagnostic Ultrasound

General Radiology

Nuclear Medicine


GI Radiology


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