What Is Fluoroscopy?

Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures--similar to an X ray "movie." A constant X ray beam is passed through the body part being analyzed. The beam is transmitted into a TV-like monitor so that its motion and the body part can be viewed in detail. Fluoroscopy, as an imaging tool, enables doctors to look at many body systems, such as the skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems.

Fluoroscopy may be performed to assess particular aspects of the entire body, including muscles, the bones, and joints, along with solid organs, such as lung, the heart, or kidneys.

Other related procedures that could be used to diagnose problems of the bones, muscles, or joints comprise X rays, myelography (myelogram), computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and arthrography. Please see these procedures for additional advice.

Reasons for the process

Fluoroscopy can be used in many forms of examinations and procedures, including barium X-rays, cardiac catheterization, arthrography (visualization of a joint or joints), lumbar puncture, placement of intravenous (IV) catheters (hollow tubes inserted into veins or arteries), intravenous pyelogram, hysterosalpingogram, and biopsies.

Fluoroscopy may be used by itself as a diagnostic procedure, or may be used along with therapeutic media or other diagnostic or procedures.

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