General radiography is the most common imaging technique and the historical origin of the medical field of radiology. It employs x-ray beams that are projected through the body part being imaged. X-ray beams then fall on an image receptor which forms the visible image that a radiologist then evaluates. This was first used by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895 when he discovered x-rays and realised that it can pass through human tissue but not bone or metal. Originally x-ray film was used and developed in a darkroom. Nowadays digital techniques, which we use at all our sites, are used and images are evaluated on high resolution monitors. X-ray imaging are of most value in evaluating the lungs and chest for infections and tumours, all bony elements including the spine for fractures, tumours and arthritis and the abdomen when evaluating for bowel obstruction, masses and calcification. It can however be used in all body parts, also looking for abnormal calcifications and air collections.
X-ray imaging uses ionising radiation, but continuous technical developments, especially using digital techniques has reduced doses to make the risk of performing x-rays negligible.
See www.radiologyinfo.org for more information on radiological studies.