Radiology Terminology

Deciphering Radiology One Term at a Time

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 32 names in this directory beginning with the letter R.
radiation
Radiant energy from waves or subatomic particles.
radiation oncologist
Doctors who oversee the care of each cancer patient undergoing radiation treatment. They develop and prescribe each cancer patient's treatment plan, they make sure that every treatment is accurately given, and they monitor the patient's progress and adjust treatment to make sure patients get quality care throughout treatment. Radiation oncologists also help identify and treat any side effects of radiation therapy and work closely with all members of the radiation oncology team. Radiation oncologists have completed four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of general medical internship, then four years of residency (specialty training in radiation oncology). They have extensive training in the safe use of radiation to treat disease. If they pass a special examination, they are certified by the American Board of Radiology. Patients should ask if their doctor is board certified.
radiation oncology
Also known as radiation therapy. The study and use of x-rays or radionuclides to treat abnormal tissue growths (malignant or nonmalignant).
radiation oncology nurses
Nurses work with the radiation team to care for patients during the course of treatment. They help evaluate the patient before treatment begins and talk to the patient about their treatment, the potential side effects and their management. During the course of radiation treatments patients may be evaluated weekly, or more frequently by the nurse to assess problems and concerns. Radiation oncology nurses are registered nurses. Most nurses in radiation therapy have additional accreditation in the specialty of oncology nursing. Advanced practice nurses in oncology, which include clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, have completed a master's degree program.
radiation pneumonitis
Inflammation of lung tissue caused by exposure to radiation therapy.
radiation therapist
Radiation therapists work with radiation oncologists. They administer the daily radiation treatment under the doctor's prescription and supervision, maintain daily records and regularly check the treatment machines to make sure they are working properly. Radiation therapists go through a two-to-four year educational program following high school or college, then take a special examination and must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. In addition, many states require that radiation therapists be licensed.
Radiation Units
There are a number of units to measure radiation dose and exposure:
radioactive
Giving off radiation.
radioactive disintegration
The decrease in the amount of any radioactive material with the passage of time due to the spontaneous emission of radiation from an atomic nucleus.
radiofrequency ablation
A treatment technique that uses high-frequency alternating electrical current to destroy tissue cells by heating them.
radiographic
Referring to the examination of any part of the body for diagnostic purposes by means of x-rays.
radiography
Examination of any part of the body for diagnostic purposes by means of x-rays with the findings usually recorded digitally or on film.
radioisotope bone scan
A nuclear imaging examination that produces pictures of bones to help detect abnormalities caused by disease or injury. During a bone scan, a small amount of radioactive material is injected into the body and collects in the bones.
Radiology Information System (RIS)
A special case of a hospital information system (HIS) tailored to radiological imaging, containing information such as imaging examination orders, schedules on imaging modalities, imaging device parameters, billing codes and information.
radiolucent
Almost completely transparent to x-rays.
radiopaque
Impenetrable by x-rays or any other form of radiation.
radiosensitizers
Drugs that enhance the effect of radiation on cancer cells.
radiotherapists
One who practices radiotherapy or is versed in radiotherapeutics.
radiotherapy
The medical specialty concerned with the use of electromagnetic or particulate radiation in the treatment of disease.
radon
A radioactive gas without odor, taste or color that occurs naturally with the decay of uranium and thorium, metallic chemicals found in rocks and soil. Radon ingestion or inhalation can cause health problems (e.g., lung cancer).
raster
A scan pattern in which an area is scanned in a rectangular pattern from side-to-side in lines from top to bottom to create an image that is projected on a cathode-ray tube and displayed on a screen.
reactive airway disease
An asthma-like syndrome due to muscle spasms in the airways. It can cause wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and difficulty breathing. This includes patients with asthma.
rectum
The lower part of the large intestine where water is absorbed from the gut and where stool is formed.
Reed-Sternberg cell
A cell that distinguishes diseased tissue as Hodgkin lymphoma.
referring physician
Usually a non-radiologist physician who sends a patient to a specialist for more information or treatment.
renal hypertension
High blood pressure caused by a narrowing of the kidney arteries
reproductive
Relating to the system of organs and parts used in reproduction. In the male, this consists of the testes, penis, seminal vesicles, prostate, and urethra. In the female, this consists of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina, and vulva.
resection
Surgical removal of part or all of an organ or an area of diseased tissue.
respiratory
Related to the process of moving air into and out of the lungs, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body's tissues.
respiratory therapy
Treatment to preserve or improve lung function.
retinoblastoma
A tumor of the retina, occurring in children.
rheumatoid arthritis
A chronic autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the lining, cartilage, bones, and supporting structures of multiple joints.