“In just the last decade, the field of medical diagnostic imaging has entered into a new era with a dazzling spectrum of computer-based technology that has vastly improved diagnostic capability, and at the same time, created new roles for diagnostic radiologists.

“Computed tomography (CT) scans, first used in the 1970s to detect brain tumors, now scan the entire body, using computers to organize thousands of X-rays taken by a machine which rotates around the patient’s body. …

“The newest diagnostic tool—and the one causing the most excitement—is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Without the use of ionizing radiation or intravenous contrast material, the new technology has opened a whole new area of diagnostic imaging. Its unsurpassed contrast resolution enables discrimination of the individual tissues comprising an organ. For example, gray and white matter can be distinguished in both the brain and the spinal cord. … Within the uterus, the glandular and muscular layers can be delineated. …

“For patients who are unstable, portable X-ray units, ultrasound scanners and nuclear medicine cameras can be brought to the bedside.”