Ultrasonography, Mammography, etc.


Diagnostic ultrasound is a technique for visualizing internal structures of the body by recording the reflection of ultrasonic waves (high frequency sound waves) as they interact with various tissues in the body. Different densities in tissue cause different sound waves or echoes. Differences can be detected between normal tissues, benign tumors, and malignant neoplasms. The record produced may be called an ultrasonogram, or an echogram. Here is an example of an ultrasound report (Radiologic Example 4). Abstract what you think is pertinent and then compare with the suggested abstraction.


Mammography is a technique for the detection of breast cancer. In this procedure, several x-ray views are taken of one or both breasts and the radiographs are examined for the presence of a lesion. When a lesion is detected, the radiologist often can determine quite accurately whether it is malignant or benign. Mammography is important because very small, early cancers can be diagnosed with the technique before they are large enough to palpate. Mammograms of the opposite breast should be recorded as well as those of the involved breast. The findings of a mammographic examination will be reported on an x-ray report such as Radiologic Example 5. Abstract what you think is pertinent and the compare with the suggested abstraction.


Xeroradiography, a product of Xerox Corporation, has been known since 1950. The xerographic process is another way of doing mammographic examinations. Its merit is in its greater precision in outlining boundaries of masses and detecting fine calcification often seen in occult neoplasms.

In xeroradiography, the x-rays are developed using the same image-producing process as the Xerox office copier machines. The xeroradiography machine can produce either a positive or negative picture on specially coated white paper that can be read in any light.

Today, xeroradiography is used for x-rays of the skull, limbs (arms, legs), and breast as well as for cervical spinal examination. Also, it can be used for locating foreign objects (wood, glass or metal splinters) in the eye or other parts of the body.


Thermography is a technique for detecting cancer by differentiating regions of hot and cold in the body. The surface temperature (its infrared radiation) is photographically recorded. The thermogram is a mosaic of many thousands of bits of temperature information displayed photographically in shades of gray. The lighter tones indicate hot spots (increased emission of heat); the darker tones indicate cool areas. Since cancer cells usually divide more rapidly than normal cells, they often give off more heat than the normal cells surrounding them. It will be reported on a thermographic report, an example of which is shown on the next page. Abstract what you think is pertinent in Radiologic Example 6 and then compare with the suggested abstraction.

An x-ray report may result from a request for consultation from another department in the hospital. The radiologist will then read the x-ray film and prepare an x-ray consultation report. A request for consultation is illustrated in Radiologic Example 7. Abstract what you think is pertinent in the report and then compare with the suggested abstraction.