5 Common Myths about Diagnostic Imaging

Last updated date: 17-Jul-2021

Herzliya Medical Center

2 mins read

There are many myths going around about the different types of diagnostic imaging: pregnant women can’t get X-ray scans, MRI is the best diagnostic method, scans with radiation are dangerous for your health, etc. The specialists of the diagnostic department at Herzliya Medical Center are setting the record straight and disproving 5 of the most common myths.

Pregnant women can’t get X-ray scans.

During the first trimester, when the fetus’ organs are still developing, radiation can indeed be dangerous. But if the scan is performed with the necessary precaution – all dangers can be avoided. Chest X-rays can be done with a lead apron protecting the abdomen, extremities can also be scanned freely. It is important to assess the situation and the patient’s symptoms and, if possible, to use diagnostic methods that don’t involve radiation.


All diagnostic imaging methods involve radiation.

The truth is that only some imaging methods involve radiation: X-ray scans, CT, mammography and catheterization. Other methods, such as US and MRI are radiation free. The choice of the method is up to the treating physician.


MRI is the best diagnostic imaging method

During an MRI scan an intense magnetic field is used to receive an image of the internal organs, the scan is radiation free. In some cases MRI is in fact the scan of choice, for example brain visualization. But in other cases specialists may prefer an ultrasound or a CAT-scan. Especially in cases of emergency, when speed of reaction is most important, doctors might prefer an US or X-ray to the long MRI, which takes up to 30 minutes per scan.


Traditional X-ray scans are outdated and have no place in today’s diagnostic process.

The truth is that even in the 21-st century x-ray scans are still 50% of all performed imaging tests. The x-ray scans provide a good and fast image of the chest and bones.


Scans with radiation are dangerous for your health.

The truth is that the dangers of radiation during imaging tests haven’t been conclusively proven. Radiation is necessary for non-invasive diagnosis and it allows to avoid surgery. It is common knowledge that children are more sensitive to radiation than adult or elderly people. Diagnostic radiation specialists obey several rules to ensure the patient’s safety: avoid unnecessary scans, if possible prefer radiation-free scans, when radiation is necessary – choose the least dosage option. By obeying these rules a good result can be achieved at minimum risk for the patient.


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