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X-Ray Imaging

An X-ray (x-radiation) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. In a medical setting, a machine sends individual X-ray particles (called photons). These particles pass through the body. A computer or special film is used to record the images that are created.

X-rays are shorter in length than UV rays and are longer than gamma rays.

In a medical setting, a machine emits individual X-ray particles (called photons) which pass through the body. A computer or special film is used to record the images that are created.

Structures that are dense (such as bone) can block most of the X-ray particles and will appear white on the film. Metal will also appear white. Structures containing air will be black, and muscle, fat and fluid will appear as several shades of gray.

X-rays can be performed on any of the following:

Abdomen, Bone, Chest, Teeth / mouth, Neck, Pelvis, Skull, Full body (skeleton), Hand, Joints

About the Procedure

An X-ray is usually performed in a hospital or the radiation department in a health care facility. The X-ray is performed by a specially trained technologist. The film used, positioning of the body, etc. all depend on the area of the body that is to be studied. Motion can cause blurred images so it is important to be completely still during the X-ray process.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant before receiving an X-ray. Young children and fetuses are most sensitive to the potential risks associated with X-rays.

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