Fluoroscopy is a type of imaging technique performed by a radiologist to better visualize organs and tissues. The examination uses an X-ray beam emitted through the body. Images are produced onto a detector or fluoroscopic screen and recorded by a camera. This allows radiologists and technologists to see real-time, moving images of internal organs and other structures on a monitor.
Fluoroscopy can be used to examine movement of joints in the skeletal system as well as the function of solid organs, such as the digestive tract, kidneys, heart and lungs.
Most fluoroscopy procedures require the use of a contrast agent or medium, such as barium. The contrast medium can help show tissues and organs that would not otherwise be visible in an X-ray. For gastrointestinal imaging, the contrast material may be swallowed or given via enema. Other contrast agents may be administered intravenously (IV).
Fluoroscopy is used in several types of exams and procedures, including diagnostic exams and interventional radiology procedures.
Fluoroscopy exams and procedures include:
- Barium studies (including upper GI and barium enema) to examine the digestive tract
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to examine the uterus and Fallopian tubes
- Heart procedures (such as cardiac catheterization) to evaluate arterial blockages and heart function
- Arthrography to examine joints
- Intravenous pyelogram and voiding cystourethrogram to examine the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra
- Image-guided biopsies
- Image-guided anesthetic injections
- Procedures to locate a foreign object trapped in the body
Fluoroscopy services are available at the following Scripps Health locations in San Diego County: