A radiologist is a medical specialist who diagnoses diseases with X-rays.

The radiologist can work in the radiology department of various institutions: a hospital, clinic, private clinic, diagnostic center, scientific institute. The specificity of this specialist's work is to identify changes on the X-ray and to describe these changes as accurately as possible, since, based on the description of the radiologist, the attending physician can make the correct diagnosis to the patient.

Such a diagnosis greatly simplifies the formulation of the correct diagnosis and the appointment of treatment for patients.

It should be noted that the profession of a radiologist belongs to the professions of increased danger, as it is associated with X-rays. Today, special radiation protection is used, but this does not eliminate the need for continuous monitoring of the radiation background.

There are several methods of radiation diagnosis: radiography, fluoroscopy, tomography. Computed tomography is a modern trend in radiology. It is thanks to this type of diagnosis that it became possible to scan certain parts of the body, process it on a computer, and obtain images on digital media.

The most informative method of tomography is positron emission. It allows you to identify various diseases at the earliest stages and identify foci of cancer. Images produced by this scanner are obtained in color and show all the chemical processes occurring in the body.

The main duty of the radiologist is a high level of professionalism and responsibility. This specialist should be able to see the pathological changes, have a good memory and be able to analyze the information received. The conclusion that is issued by the radiologist must be based on deep medical knowledge. In connection with the constant development of medicine, this specialist must constantly improve existing knowledge and apply it in practice.

An x-ray technician helps the doctor in the radiologist's office. The radiologist performs diagnostics of the brain, lungs, spine, skeleton, and internal organs. This specialist should be able to work with mammography and photofluorograph.

What does the radiologist diagnose?

The quality and intensity of the X-ray image depends on the density. As is known, each structure in the human body has its own density value, so a radiologist needs to know such a parameter as density in order to properly diagnose.

Most often, the radiologist examines the pathology of the following organs:

  • bone system: lower and upper limbs, skull, ribs, collarbone, spine and pelvic bones;
  • respiratory organs: lungs and pleural cavity;
  • digestive system: biliary tract and esophagus;
  • urinary system: kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra.

Since the advent of computed tomography, the capabilities of the radiologist have become much wider.

Computed tomography allows you to see a three-dimensional image and get a three-dimensional picture of an organ. To enhance the information content of this method, a contrast agent is introduced. This type of research allowed more detailed diagnosis of the pathology of the lungs, spinal cord and brain, vertebrae, blood vessels, abdominal organs and retroperitoneal space.

What diseases does the radiologist diagnose?

The attending physician may refer the patient to the radiologist after a routine examination if the patient has questionable symptoms and needs further examination.

Based on the X-ray examination, the radiologist can confirm the therapist’s alleged diagnosis, or, conversely, refute it.

It should be noted that the radiologist does not establish the diagnosis, he only makes a conclusion based on the X-ray examination. A radiologist can confirm the following diseases:

  • various fractures, dislocations;
  • tumors, ulcers, stenoses, hernias;
  • the presence of stones in the biliary tract;
  • intestinal obstruction, intestinal twists, foreign bodies in the intestine;
  • pneumonia, tuberculosis, lung abscess;
  • pleurisy, pneumothorax, pulmonary infarction;
  • expanding the boundaries of the heart, pericarditis, atherosclerosis;
  • abnormalities of the kidneys, ureters, bladder;
  • high position of the diaphragm.

With the help of computed tomography, the doctor can determine the following diagnoses: damage to the brain and spinal cord, subdural and epidural hematoma, tumors of the liver and pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands.

When to see a specialist

More often than not, a patient receives this specialist after visiting a therapist or a narrow specialist. An independent visit to the radiologist is possible when routine X-ray examination is required.

A patient can consult a radiologist after the direction of the attending doctor when:

  • suspected fracture or dislocation;
  • spinal injury;
  • constant coughing and shortness of breath;
  • pressing pains in the chest and heaviness in the heart;
  • heaviness in the stomach, heartburn and vomiting;
  • suspicions of tumors in the abdomen and chest;
  • head injuries and brain concussions.

Research methods

In order to establish the correct diagnosis, it is necessary to perform not always pleasant, but necessary for the patient, diagnostic procedures. The radiologist may apply the following methods: fluoroscopy, fluorography, irrigography, pancreatocholangiography, excretory urography, computed tomography, and mammography (to exclude pathological changes in the mammary glands).

Radiography allows you to explore the body, watching it on the monitor screen. But with this examination, the patient receives a fairly high dose of radiation. Fluorography is a fairly common and accessible procedure that is performed on almost every person. This technique allows to study the structure of the lungs, to determine the presence of tuberculosis at the beginning of the development of the disease. Fluorography should be carried out by an adult at least once a year.

Irrigography is a procedure in which a barium sulfate suspension (contrast agent) is injected into the patient through the rectum and a series of shots are taken. This method allows you to diagnose colon cancer.

With the help of cholangiopancreatography can determine the causes of jaundice, tumor of the duodenal papilla, pancreas and biliary tract.

When excretory urography, the patient is injected intravenously a contrast agent, after which pictures are taken: at 10, 30 and 60 minute. After that, the radiologist must evaluate the structural features and functions of such organs and structures as: the bladder, urethra, kidneys, pelvis, ureters, based on the ability of the urinary system to expel a contrast agent injected intravenously.

Advice of the radiologist

In order not to harm your own body, you should follow some recommendations of the radiologist.

Fluorography should be held every adult each year. Those people who are in the danger zone should be examined every six months. This risk zone includes prisoners, mines and tuberculosis dispensaries.

If a person has an increased body temperature, cough, shortness of breath and general malaise, a chest x-ray should be done.

If a person has injured a limb, an X-ray picture should be done in two projections, even if the injury seems to be completely frivolous. Do not ignore the fact that after the reduction of the fracture it is imperative to take a second shot. It is important to ensure that there is no displacement and incorrect reposition of the fragment.

Any radiologist knows that it is impossible to use a contrast agent to confirm the diagnosis of perforation of the intestine and stomach. This can be dangerous, since entering the abdominal cavity, the substance causes peritonitis.

It is important to remember that any health problem requires expert expert advice. Self-medication can actually be deadly to health.

Article author:
Tedeeva Madina Elkanovna

Specialty: general practitioner, radiologist.

Total experience: 20 years.

Place of work: LLC “SL Medical Group”, Maykop.

Education: 1990-1996, North Ossetian State Medical Academy.


1. In 2016, the Russian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education held advanced training in the additional professional program "Therapy" and was admitted to the implementation of medical or pharmaceutical activities in the specialty of therapy.

2. In 2017, by the decision of the examination commission at the private institution of additional professional education, the Institute for the Advanced Training of Medical Personnel, was admitted to undertake medical or pharmaceutical activity in the specialty of radiology.

Experience: general practitioner - 18 years old, radiologist - 2 years.

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