Cardiothoracic Imaging
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Diagnostic imaging modalities - Ionizing vs non-ionizing radiation


Medical imaging techniques can be broadly grouped into those which use ionizing radiation versus those that do not. The ionizing radiation group consists of those images created by the use of x-rays or gamma rays. Both x-rays and gamma rays are high energy, short wavelength (less than an angstrom) electromagnetic radiation that is capable of penetrating and passing through most tissues. Gamma rays arise from the nuclear decays of radioactive tracers introduced into the body, while x-rays arise from an x-ray tube where high speed electrons bombard a small spot on a tungsten anode target.


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December 18, 2004 (PL)
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