Three Major Diagnostic Procedures

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 3
Words: 631
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The greatest challenge facing medical professionals is to ensure that the patients are correctly diagnosed if subsequent treatment procedures are to be beneficial to the clients. A lot of money is spent by individuals as well as governments in the provision of health care. The essay identifies and discusses three major diagnostic procedures and how they have improved the healthcare system in the past 20 years.

One of the most celebrated diagnostic procedures in the past few years is the use of computed tomography (CT) machines (Webb & Major, 2006). It is capable of producing extremely detailed images of the human body within a very short time span. It has been transformed over time and the modern type has significantly improved the field of medicine. The CT facilitates medical imaging by the use of computer processing. It can produce 3-Dimensional images of the inner body parts from 2-Dimensional x-ray images normally captured around a single rotational axis.

The various tests used are quite instrumental in assisting doctors to conduct objective diagnoses. CT scanning enables the clear viewing of internal body organs, blood vessels, bones, and body tissues. These images can be viewed as a soft copy on the monitor, printed, or copied to a CD. A cardiac computed tomography commonly known as cardiac CT is a form of CT diagnostic test which is painless and uses an x-ray machine (Jarvis, 2008). It can take clear and very detailed pictures of the heart. The device has over the past two decades enabled radiologists to conduct a meaningful diagnosis of such problems as cancer risks, diseases of the heart, appendicitis, and various infectious diseases (Schoepf, 2005). This new technology is an improvement of the ordinary x-ray examinations which are less effective.

The next type of diagnostic procedure is the nuclear medicine test. It involves a very sensitive procedure of imaging the body by the use of minute doses of radioactive material (Prekeges, 2009). This material is injected directly into the body system to determine the causes of medical problems. The test depends on the functioning of the tissue, system, or organ being investigated unlike in CT and MRI tests which rely on structural or imaging information. The positron emission tomography (PET), on the other hand, which is a kind of nuclear medicine test used mainly in cardiovascular medicine, has helped physicians in investigating the internal workings of cells and various body tissues (Prekeges, 2009). These tests are safer and can be used either for the diagnosis or treatment of cancer, cardiac diseases, and other abnormalities in the body.

The third diagnostic procedure that has transformed the field of medicine over the last 20 years is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It involves the use of a strong magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to generate very detailed pictures of body organs, bones, body tissues, and other structures of the body (Rajan, 1998). This procedure is unique in that it does not use x-rays for imaging. The use of this procedure has enabled doctors to perform effective diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Over the past two decades, this technique has been found to help in rooting out diseases that other procedures like CT and nuclear medicine tests may fail to assess (Brown & Semelka, 2010).

The essay has named three major diagnostic procedures and how they have improved the healthcare system in the past 20 years. A number of other tests have been in use but the challenge is to identify the best option that will help in diagnosing disease with minimum negative effects on the client. From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the three techniques are complementary and have all contributed towards the improvement of the healthcare system over the past few years especially with the advancement of technology.


Brown, M. A. & Semelka, R. C. (2010). MRI: Understanding the basic principles and applications (4th ed). John Wiley and Sons

Jarvis, C. (2008). Physical examination and health assessment (5th ed). St. Louis: W.B. Saunders Co.

Prekeges, J. (2009). Nuclear Medicine Testing. Jones & Bartlett Learning

Rajan, S. S. (1998). MRI Technique: a conceptual overview. Springer

Schoepf, U. J. (2005). Cardiovascular CT: principles and applications. Springer

Webb, W. R. & Major, N. M. (2006). Conceptualizing the fundamentals of body CT (3rd ed). Elsevier Health Sciences