Ultrasound Vs. X Ray

Weigh the Difference

An ultrasound scan, also referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic
sonography, and ultrasonography, is a device that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of some part of the inside of the body, such as the stomach, liver, heart, tendons, muscles, joints and blood vessels. Experts say that as sound waves, rather than radiation are used, ultrasound scans are safe. Obstetric sonography is frequently used to check the baby in the womb.

Ultrasound scans are used to detect problems in the liver, heart, kidney or the abdomen. They may also be useful in helping the surgeon when carrying out some types of biopsies.

The word “ultrasound”, in physics, refers to all sound with a frequency humans cannot hear. In diagnostic sonography, the ultrasound is usually between 2 and 18 MHz. Higher frequencies provide better quality images, but are more readily absorbed by the skin and other tissue, so they cannot penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Lower frequencies can penetrate deeper, but the image quality is inferior.

An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body — particularly your bones.

X-ray beams can pass through your body, but they are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle appear as varying shades of gray.

For some types of X-ray tests, a contrast medium — such as iodine or barium — is introduced into your body to provide greater detail on the X-ray images.X-ray technology is used to examine many parts of the body.

In most cases, fractures and infections in bones and teeth show up clearly on X-rays. Dentists use X-rays to check for cavities in your teeth.The X-rays of your joints can reveal evidence of arthritis. X-rays taken over the years can help your doctor determine if your arthritis is worsening.Special types of X-ray tests can measure the density of your bones.It can also reveal tumors in your bones.

Evidence of problems such as pneumonia, tuberculosis or lung cancer can show up on chest X-rays. Breast cancer can be detected through the use of a mammogram – a special type of X-ray test used to examine breast tissue. Signs of congestive heart failure is an enlarged heart, which shows up clearly on X-rays. Blocked blood vessels can be detected by injecting a contrast material that contains iodine. It can help highlight sections of your circulatory system so that they can be seen on X-rays.

Barium, a contrast medium delivered in a drink or in an enema, can help reveal problems anywhere in your digestive system. If your child has swallowed something like a key or a coin, an X-ray can show the location of that object.

Both machines can help determine and diagnose your medical condition. It is only up to your physician to suggest which would be the best for your condition.