1. X-ray imaging (Running time: 9min 55s.)

  • Introduction and explanation of x-ray imaging using the analogy of the shadow cast by a net curtain in sunlight. Includes a series of x-ray pictures of: dislocated finger; fractured tibia and fibula; tibia repaired using a metal rod; lungs; lumbar spine; hairline fracture to the skull; skull complete with hearing aid (which the patient forgot to take off!!)
  • Demonstration of a standard x-ray set including x-ray tube, aperture, film cassette and intensifying screens. Description includes two series of graphics: the first showing the detailed construction of an x-ray tube in its housing; the second, explaining how intensifying screens work.
  • A barium meal examination being performed.
  • Mammography being performed. Includes x-ray pictures of a breast with a tumour and one without (for comparison).
  • Demonstration of a CT scanner. Includes a brief interview with a radiographer who interprets a set of brain scans which reveal a brain tumour.

2. Radiotherapy (Running time: 5min 9s.)

  • Interview with a medical physicist who explains how radiotherapy treatments were planned for two case studies: cancer of the prostate and cancer of the breast.
  • Demonstration of a cobalt 60 machine showing the aperture and wedges (used to shape the gamma ray field). Also shows the layout of the treatment suite (concrete walls a metre thick etc).
  • Demonstration of a linear accelerator.

3. Ultrasound (Running time 9min 52s.)

  • Introduction to ultrasound imaging by way of sonar aboard trawlers.
  • Ultrasound examination of a pregnant woman. The doctor locates and talks about the baby’s heart, head, foot (it obligingly waggles its toes at the camera!), and spine.
  • Ultrasound examination of the abdomen of a man. The doctor locates and talks about his gall bladder, liver and kidney. He shows how the machine is used to measure structures e.g. the length of the kidney.
  • Close-up of the ultrasound probe, with a series of graphics to explain how it works.
  • Introduction to Doppler ultrasound using the analogy of the change of pitch of the noise from a train as it passes. Includes simple graphic.
  • Demonstration of Doppler ultrasound being used to “listen” to the blood flow in the presenter’s arm.
  • Doppler ultrasound examination of the leg of a man with severe vascular disease. You can hear how blocked up his arteries are!
  • Demonstration by a clinician of how ultrasound imaging and Doppler ultrasound are used together to measure and create images of blood flow.

4. Nuclear medicine (Running time 7min 32s.)

  • Introduction, including delivery to the hospital radiopharmacy of molybdenum 99 from Canada.
  • Demonstration by a radiopharmacist of how drugs are labelled with technetium 99m (derived from molybdenum 99). In particular, he shows how fluid is drawn from a technetium generator.
  • Demonstration of how a gamma camera is used to image the head. Presenter shows and describes the lead collimator, sodium iodide crystal and photomultiplier tubes. Includes a graphic.
  • Interpretation of several gamma camera images: a brain scan (normal); kidney scan (shows that one ureter is blocked); bone scans (one showing a kidney tumour which has spread to the spine; the other, confirming no secondary tumours in a young man part of whose femur had been removed due to bone cancer).

5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Running time 4min 31s.)

  • Introduction, including the shattering of a tulip embrittled by immersion in liquid nitrogen and brief description of superconductivity.
  • Demonstration of Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner.
  • Demonstration of how the MRI coil is made in the factory.
  • Demonstration of how strong the magnetic field is by showing how a set of keys suspended on a wire are drawn towards the coil.
  • Sequence of MRI images of a set of slices through a head, revealing detailed structure of brain, eyes etc.
  • Demonstration of advanced techniques to show: firstly, a heart beating and; secondly, rotation of a 3D image of the blood supply to the head.
  • Description of the latest compact MRI machine which enables heads, arms and legs to be examined more cheaply.


X-ray imaging



Nuclear medicine

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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