Diagnostic imaging tests – using radiographs, ultrasound, fluoroscopy or nuclear medicine to create visual representations of a body’s interior – are used to deal with a variety of non-communicable or chronic diseases. The four most important types of these are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. 

  • Cancer diagnosis

    Cancer diagnosis frequently requires imaging studies that in many cases use small amounts of radiation. Procedures such as X-rays; computed tomography (CT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) are important in clinical decision-making, including therapy and follow-up.   Read more →

  • Cardiovascular diseases

    According to the WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death worldwide. Diagnostic procedures using ionizing radiation play a central role in managing these diseases and have significantly contributed to the decrease in morbidity and mortality associated with them in the last two decades.  Read more →

  • Degenerative diseases

    Imaging techniques play a pivotal role in diagnosing and managing degenerative disorders such as those affecting the brain (Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease) and the musculoskeletal system (osteoporosis and arthritis).  Read more →

  • infectious diseases

    Diagnosis of infectious diseases

    To diagnose infectious diseases, in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostic procedures involving radiation are applied. In-vivo procedures provide images of living organisms and are used to diagnose such diseases as tuberculosis or osteomyelitis. In-vitro techniques, using test tubes or culture dishes, are used to diagnose for instance malaria, Ebola or HIV.  Read more →

  • pediatric illnesses

    Pediatric illnesses

    Using diagnostic imaging to detect illness in children requires extra safety measures and care. Radiation doses must be kept as low as possible and examinations have to be fully justified so that benefits exceed by far any possible risk. Read more →

  • Nuclear diagnostics for different diseases

    Diagnostic tests involving radiation are an invaluable tool to manage many other diseases, including those affecting the lungs (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); kidney (stones; pyelonephritis); liver and gallbladder; pancreas; and the lymphatic and musculoskeletal system.  Read more →

  • Optimising image quality

    One of the most powerful tools of modern medicine is medical imaging. However, using ionizing radiation for medical imaging comes with inherent risks. The IAEA offers training and develops procedures and guidelines to minimize such risks and optimize the related medical practices. Read more →

  • Diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals

    Radiopharmaceuticals are radioisotopes bound to biological molecules able to target specific organs, tissues or cells within the human body. These radioactive drugs can be used for the diagnosis and, increasingly, for the therapy of diseases.  Read more →

  • Interventional radiology

    This type of radiology provides minimally invasive image-guided diagnosis and treatment of diseases in every organ or system, using the least invasive techniques available. Compared to open surgery, these procedures produce less pain, reduce the risk of infection and have a shorter recovery and hospital stay time. Read more →


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