4 Common Diagnostic Tests Requested by Doctors Today

Doctors looking at laptop

Early detection of a disease is essential to start treatment immediately. Doctors can treat and combat many ailments, thanks to simple and standard laboratory tests and diagnostic exams today.

For instance, cancer, when detected early, can lead to a good health outcome. One of the most commonly used diagnostic tests today is the private MRI scan, which is often done in London and other major cities around the world. Aside from this, there’s a multitude of tests that are cost-effective in determining abnormalities in the body.

Here are the most commonly used diagnostic tests done by doctors and other health practitioners:

MRI Scan

A doctor may want to look internally inside your body if a clinical exam is not enough. Without surgery, one of the safest scans available is the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan.

MRIs use radio waves and magnetic fields which are harmless to the body. Since they involve magnetism, patients are advised to remove any metallic items they carry before proceeding with a scan for safety purposes.

This type of diagnostic test is often used to detect soft tissue abnormalities, which is perfect if a doctor suspects any type of tumor and cyst inside our body and brain. Usually, it takes around an hour to complete an MRI scan. Furthermore, a contrast fluid is injected through the veins to help a radiographer have a clearer view of the body.

CT Scan

A CT (Computed Tomography) scan or sometimes called CAT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scan, combines a series of a low-dose beam of X-ray images taken across the body at different angles.

A computer processes and produce cross-sectional images of soft tissues, bones and even blood vessels of the body which are more detailed compared to x-rays. Images produced by a CT scan can show abnormalities found inside the body like abdominal tumors. It is a much preferred diagnostic tool for hemorrhage from car accidents or trauma.

doctor at a laboratory

Complete Blood Count

Our blood is composed of several components, such as, oxygen-carrying red blood cells, white blood cells that fight infections, platelets for blood clotting, as well as hemoglobin and hematocrit. A CBC (Complete Blood Count) is a diagnostic tool to test these components for abnormalities and a vast range of blood-related disorders like anemia, some blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, and infections.

Taking a blood sample is simple and is usually done by a laboratory technician or a nurse by inserting a needle into a vein, drawing a small amount for the examination which only takes a few minutes for the results. An abnormal increase or decrease of cell counts may indicate a further test and evaluation of your doctor.

X-ray

X-rays are the most commonly used imaging test for decades. It is a simple, noninvasive diagnostic procedure to view inside the body with images showing parts of the body in black and white shades.

Tissues and organs have different densities as they absorb the radiation differently. The lungs appear black since air inside absorbs the least, while soft tissues and fats look gray because they absorb less. X-rays are most commonly used to determine bone fractures because bones appear white on x-ray films since calcium on bones absorbs x-rays the most.

X-rays may be used for other applications as well, chest x-rays to determine pneumonia and mammogram x-rays for breast tumors. Having an x-ray involves risks because of a small amount of radiation, putting on a protective lead apron is sometimes provided to protect other parts of the body. This might be the case for x-rays, but the potential benefit outweighs the risks.

Diagnostic tests are crucial in providing proper care and treatment to patients. Doctors need these tests to confirm a diagnosis. With accurate diagnosis, they can recommend the best treatment options for the disease.

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