Fluoroscopy is a form of diagnostic radiology enabling a radiologist, with the aid of a contrast agent, to visualize an organ or organ system. During fluoro, multiple X-rays are taken in a series, giving the doctor a moving picture of what your body is doing. With fluoro, you can watch someone swallow, or even watch a heart beat. Fluoro is used in many different areas of imaging services. In some cases, there is nothing wrong with the tissue, but the problem is with the movement of the tissue. With fluoro, we can watch the tissue in action and observe the way it moves—normally or abnormally.
How Fluoroscopy Works
Contrast agents enable imaging to be viewed clearly on a monitor or screen. Contrast agents (or "contrast media") may be introduced into the body through injection, swallowing, or enema.
Types of Fluoroscopic Exams
- Arthrogram / Arthrography (X-ray of the joints) – Evaluation of major joints: shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle.
- Barium Enema (BE) / Lower Gastrointestinal Exam (Lower GI) – Evaluation of the large intestine.
- Cystograms – Evaluation of urinary bladder.
- Esophagram / Barium Swallow – Evaluation of esophagus.
- Hystersalpingogram – Evaluation of the fallopian tubes.
- Sialogram – Evaluation of the salivary glands for blockages.
- Small Bowel Series – Evaluation of the small intestine.
- Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Series – Evaluation of esophagus and stomach. A group of X-rays that yields information about the anatomy of the esophagus and stomach, as well as the relation between these structures and the diaphragm. It may detect a short esophagus, strictures or a hiatal or paraesophageal hernia, each of which may affect a surgical strategy.
- Venogram – Evaluation of veins in lower extremities.
- Voiding Cystourethrogram (Pediatrics and Adults) (VCUG) – Evaluation of bladder and lower urinary tract.
Each test consists of a series of images taken by a radiologist, possibly followed by a series of X-rays taken by the radiological technologist. Before your appointment concludes the images will be evaluated technically, then a radiologist intreprets the images and prepares a report to send to your referring physician.