In the veterinary field too,Diagnostic Imaging investigations are fundamental not only in the diagnosis phase itself but also in the follow-up phase, i.e. in the subsequent checks necessary to monitor the evolution of the disease or trauma affecting the animal.

Diagnostic Imaging using X-ray equipment makes it possible to carry out two types of examination, very different from each other in terms of type and objectives: morphological examination and functional examination..

  • In the morphological examination the anatomical structures are visible in detail (penalizing the vision of the functionality of the organs). This test can be performed by means of CT (Computed Axial Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), but is usually performed by imaging with conventional radiography.
  • In the functional examination on the other hand, organ function is displayed (with the vision of anatomical structures being penalised). This examination is usually performed by means of ultrasound, CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging.

Differences between images acquired with an analogue and a digital system

As with photography, in the field of Diagnostic Imaging it is possible to choose between an analogue and a digital system.

In the field of Veterinary Medicine the use of digital systems is currently increasingly in demand because the speed and quality of these new products makes the examination almost immediate, with no maintenance costs and with the added advantage of being able to make more in-depth diagnoses thanks to the advanced software provided.

The development of film plates requires a device (the so-called “developer”) which, like a darkroom for photography, develops the acquired negative and makes it visible. This process involves heating the developing liquids and replacing them periodically. It is therefore clear that carrying out a diagnostic investigation with an analogue system involves the investment of significant resources,, both in terms of time and money, which in today’s increasingly digitized and technologically advanced society can easily be avoided.

What is the difference between digital and analogue imaging?

What is the difference between a digital diagnostic image and its analogue equivalent?

In practical terms, an analogue image consists of an infinite number of dots and an infinite number of colour variations. In contrast, a digital image consists of a finite number of pixels.

This difference might seem to mean a loss of quality and ‘smoothness’ of the images. However, this loss of definition is so infinitesimal that it is invisible to the human eye, especially thanks to the technological evolution provided bymodern digital systems.

Specifically, the new digital imaging panels offer high definition with a resolution of up to 3.5 lines per millimetre. This ensures a smooth image, which makes the pixels indistinguishable to the human eye.

Fluoroscopy and radiography: what are they?

A further diagnostic investigation that can also be carried out in veterinary medicine is fluoroscopy, which is performed by emitting X-rays at a very low dose for a defined time. This makes it possible to no longer have a single static image, but a real video.Fluoroscopy is used in the placement of bone grafts, fracture consolidation and the placement of vascular stents.

While until a few years ago fluoroscopy was reserved exclusively for human medicine, there are now many veterinary facilities that are equipped or about to be equipped with these systems, thanks to which it is possible to make more in-depth diagnoses or perform surgery with ‘visual’ support of the operating field.

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