What’s Upcoming in Radiology

By Kate Anastas
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Advancing technology allows for more safe and innovative imaging techniques.


Noninvasive approach to liver examination

For patients with chronic liver disease, an exam with a magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) device can replace a traditional biopsy. This device translates sound waves into images that help detect liver tumors and tissue damage.

Quicker MRI for pediatrics

Children often cannot lie still for the length of time needed to conduct an MRI, and thus require anesthesia for the test. With National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering funding, researchers are developing a pediatric coil that permits faster imaging for a quicker examination.


Use of color to identify microfractures

Research is underway to expand the limitations of conventional X‑ray imaging to see microfractures in bones. The process involves use of nanoparticles that contain hafnium. These particles attach to a tiny crack in a bone, and the hafnium allows a clear image to appear with color identifying where the microcrack is located.

Low-cost, accessible digital X‑ray devices

More companies are securing funding to make medical imaging available worldwide. Digital X‑ray devices are an affordable way to provide diagnostics in places where imaging costs have been prohibitive.

CT Scan

Breast CT scanner

A CT scanner dedicated for breast cancer screening may be the better option for certain high-risk individuals. Breast CT scanning reduces radiation to the chest, doesn’t require painful breast compression and may render more accurate 3D imaging.

Combination PET-CT scan for cancer diagnosis

Use of a PET-CT scan could provide better imaging than a traditional scan to help detect cancer in patients. Recent studies show that combined PET-CT imaging could aid in diagnosis, including a randomized controlled trial that found the scan provided more accurate imaging for prostate cancer patients.


AI-powered ultrasound

Artificial intelligence (AI) uses self-learning methods that can provide reliable diagnosis and reduce physician workload. AI intelligence used in breast ultrasounds could help distinguish between cancerous and noncancerous tumors and predict predict tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) classification.

Handheld ultrasound scanner

Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer technology has led to the creation of small, clinical ultrasound devices, making ultrasounds quickly accessible to the public.