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Radiology is the science of medical imaging. Diagnostic radiology uses various imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to aid in the diagnosis of disease. Numerous subspecialties within diagnostic radiology exist, including musculoskeletal, neuroradiology and body.
Musculoskeletal radiology concerns the body’s musculoskeletal system, which is made up of bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissue. Musculoskeletal radiologists undergo advanced training and focus on orthopedic, rheumatologic and traumatic conditions.
Neuroradiology is a medical subspecialty focused on studying and diagnosing conditions of the body’s nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system or CNS) and the peripheral nerves (peripheral nervous system or PNS) and its supporting structures, such as the head, neck and spine. Neuroradiologists must undergo advanced training beyond their diagnostic radiology preparation.
Body radiology is a subspecialty area of diagnostic radiology that surrounds imaging of the chest, abdomen and pelvis primarily. Body-trained radiologists go through advanced training and typically focus on conditions of the primary organ systems of the body such as the cardiovascular system.
Cardiac imaging is a medical subspecialty that involves imaging of the heart. Cardiac imaging specialists undergo advanced training and certification and typically focus on the diagnosis of conditions such coronary artery disease, heart disease, and other conditions assoicated with the heart and its vasculature.
Nuclear medicine is a subspecialty of radiology and medicine that is used to image the body to diagnose and treat disease, often very early in the progress of the disease. Nuclear medicine procedures are performed using small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) that are detected by special types of cameras that work with computers to create very precise images of the area of the body being studied. These studies are safe and painless, and a typical nuclear imaging study involves an amount of radiation that is comparable with a diagnostic x-ray.