Radiological procedures are used to look at the internal structures of the body – whether it is for bone or soft tissue injuries. Normally, these examinations are carried out to:

  • Diagnose a disease, eg: cancer or heart disease
  • Show any injuries to the body structure
  • Provide treatment (interventional radiology)

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Radiology provides tertiary-level diagnostic and interventional imaging to support emergency, inpatient and outpatient services.

Imaging studies undertaken at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital include:

  • General radiography (X-Ray)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound (U/S)
  • Diagnostic angiography and interventional procedures
  • Mammography

General radiography (x-ray)

General radiography, also referred to as plain film imaging, is the imaging of parts of the body using x-rays. X-rays are a form of radiation similar to light; however, unlike light, they can pass through most objects. It is this penetrability and, in turn, absorption that is used to create an image of body structures. Different parts of the body will absorb radiation differently and are shown in shades of black, grey and white. Bone, for instance, will absorb more radiation and appear light grey to white on an image, whereas lungs, which consist of mainly air, will absorb less radiation and will appear almost black.

X-rays are the simplest and quickest form of imaging performed in radiology and are most familiarly used to detect bony fractures. However, they are also very useful in detecting pathologies throughout the body, such as osteoarthritis of the joints, fluid collections such as pleural effusions, or irregularities in organ size, shape and function.

Computed tomography (CT)

CT scans can produce detailed images of many structures inside the body, including the internal organs, blood vessels and bones. They can be used to diagnose conditions, including damage to bones, injuries to internal organs, problems with blood flow, stroke, and cancer.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body. Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily realigns water molecules in your body. Radio waves cause these aligned atoms to produce faint signals, which are used to create cross-sectional MRI images — like slices in a loaf of bread.

Ultrasound (U/S)

An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture live images from the inside of your body. It's also known as sonography. An ultrasound allows your doctor to see problems with organs, vessels and tissues without needing to make an incision. Unlike other imaging techniques, ultrasound uses no radiation.

Diagnostic angiography and interventional procedures

In interventional radiology (also called IR), doctors use medical imaging to guide minimally invasive surgical procedures that diagnose, treat, and cure many kinds of conditions. Imaging modalities used include fluoroscopy, MRI, CT, and ultrasound.


A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes years before it can be felt.

Last Updated: 20/06/2024