X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film or digital media. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays can be performed on an outpatient basis, or as part of inpatient care.
X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X-rays pass through body structures onto specially-treated plates (similar to camera film) or digital media, and a "negative" type picture is made (the more solid a structure is, the whiter it appears on the film).
When the body undergoes X-rays, different parts of the body allow varying amounts of the X-ray beams to pass through. The soft tissues in the body (such as blood, skin, fat, and muscle) allow most of the X-ray to pass through and appear dark gray on the film or digital media. A bone or a tumor, which is denser than soft tissue, allows few of the X-rays to pass through and appears white on the X-ray. When a break in a bone has occurred, the X-ray beam passes through the broken area and appears as a dark line in the white bone.
X-ray technology is used in other types of diagnostic procedures, such as arteriograms, computed tomography (CT) scans, and fluoroscopy.