A History Of Radiology From Your Imaging Experts Part 3

Throughout history, many grand inventions and developments have helped to shape our species and improve our civilization worldwide. One such industry that has vastly changed the field of medicine is radiology. This science of utilizing radiation in order to diagnose and treat diseases is an integral part of our modern medicine to produce many of the positive outcomes we expect today. As Pittsburgh’s imaging services specialists, we can be considered fanatical about the field. North Pittsburgh Imaging Specialists is proud to provide Pennsylvanians with affordable imaging services for whatever they require, whether it be for diagnostic medical imaging or for prenatal checks. We owe much of our facility’s success to the pioneers of the industry, which is why we’ll continue our blog on the history of radiology. This set of blogs is by no means comprehensive but is meant to simply educate you about the history of our specialty.


Creating Artificial Radiation

Up until 1934, we had three sources for creating a nuclear reaction, which consisted of the uranium, actinium, and thorium series on the periodic table. Any element in one of these families held enough instability to be radioactive, and all others could not be induced to be radioactive. Irene Curie and her husband Frederic discovered that introducing a stable material to a specific type of radiation could now make that material radioactive. Induced or manmade radioactivity was found to be successful because the emission of a particle that held one positive charge was paired with an electron of equal mass. The result was a material that was radioactive after the radiation source was removed. Thus, we could now create and observe these reactions where nature could not. Since the beginning of the 1940s, a new set of elements has been made with this artificial method to create transuranium elements, or elements heavier than the heaviest natural source found on our planet. This new source could be used for more advanced medical techniques that required higher levels of radiation.

Intensifying X-Rays

In 1955, an intensifier was developed to enable medical professionals to pick up and display x-rays on your standard television monitor and associated camera. This innovation replaced the fluorescent system, which utilized mirrors in order to reduce the exposure of both the patient and their specialist to radiation. The intensifier paved the way for more complex technology, including the ability to image much of the cardiovascular system. The 1950s also saw the use of gamma cameras, which were able to detect radiation minute signals that sourced from radionuclides that were observed by the body’s organs.

Since then, much has been improved to create the modern field of radiology. Don’t worry, as much of these special advances will be covered in future installments! North Pittsburgh Imaging Specialists is proud to be a top provider of affordable medical imaging for much of Pennsylvania. Our radiologists are ABR board-certified and ready to help. By focusing on quality and care, we are confident that will be satisfied with our top-notch services. If you are in need of Pittsburgh imaging services, be sure to contact us today to speak to a representative!