'A' Level Medical Option Questions - X-Rays

Q6. In the course of diagnosis and treatment of a child's broken arm, several images of the arm are required. Similarly, to check the progress of a woman's pregnancy, several images of the foetus are required.

In each case, state which imaging technique would probably be used and give two reasons for the choice.

(a) Broken arm

You would use an X-ray because an x-ray image gives:

    • a sharp image
    • with good contrast
    • and good resolution.

Any two points get one mark for reason.                   

(b) Foetus

You would use an ultrasound scan because ultrasound:

      • is non-ionising and therefore safe to use on the unborn foetus,
      • detects change in tissue type and so allows the development to be monitored and
      • allows real-time imaging to check on heart development and movement.

Any two points get one mark for reason.   

(Total 4 marks)