All of us have had at least one medical imaging test at some point in our lives. The three most common types of imaging are X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.
X-rays are brighter than gamma rays and more intense than ultraviolet rays. They pass easily through soft tissues such as organs and muscles. They do not pass easily through hard tissues such as bones and teeth, so they form images of bone structures.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a series of X-rays that are usually taken from different angles and assembled into a three-dimensional model using a computer.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves at a specific frequency to move the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, which are abundant in water and fat. Strong magnets detect the hydrogen reaction and map out the locations of the tissues where the hydrogen resides.
CT scans produce images of bone and soft tissue. However, they are not as effective as MRI in revealing subtle differences between different tissues.