Fluoroscans can be thought of as “active x-rays,” allowing patients to view their scans in real-time.
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses low dosages of X-rays to produce moving images of a patient’s internal structures in order to diagnose disease or damage, or to assist during various treatment procedures. Static images can also be produced by capturing and viewing a single exposure on a video monitor.
A fluoroscan X-ray machine consists of a movable arm and a device that emits a low amount of X-rays opposite a fluorescent screen. The body part of the patient is placed between the fluorescent screen and the X-ray emitting source (1). The shadow images are viewed on a video monitor.
Are fluoroscans safe and accurate?
Fluoroscans are advantageous for their low radiation, maneuverability and immediate images making them especially useful for radiography in children and extremities. Fluoroscans are also relatively safe as there is essentially no “scatter” of radiation outside of the exposure field. Orthopedic surgeons and other physicians are not only able to assess whether any structural impairments exist to the anatomy, but also to evaluate the body part’s mobility and function during movement (3).
At Pacific Coast Sports Medicine, fluoroscans enable physicians and patients to view immediate, high-quality, low radiation images of internal body structures. Thanks to innovative image processing, fluoroscans produce distortion-free fluoroscopies by adjusting the X-ray dosage to a minimum, reducing motion blur, and compensating for metal objects, such as screws and intramedullary rods (2).
Fluoroscopies are not limited to viewing the musculoskeletal system; physicians are able to look at the digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems as well.
Advantages of fluoroscan X-rays:
- Can produce moving images as well as still images
- Requires a lower dose of radiation
- No “scatter” of radiation outside exposure field
- Especially useful when viewing extremities and assessing the internal structures of children
- Real-time viewing of images in examination room
- Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoroscopy. Updated August 18, 2014. Accessed September 9, 2014.
- Holologic Fluoroscan Insight FD Mini C-arm.video online http://www.fluoroscan.com. Accessed September 6, 2014.
- X-ray and Fluoroscopy: What is an X-ray and what is Fluoroscopy? Montefiore Inspired Medicine Web site. http://www.montefiore.org/radiology-services-xray-and-fluoroscopy. Accessed September 9, 2014.