A radiograph (also known as an x-ray) is a type of photograph that can reveal information that is not visible from the outside of the body. Almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, and abdominal organs, as well as the bones, can be evaluated using radiography.
Radiography is painless, safe, and non-invasive, and it uses very low doses of radiation. Because the level of radiation exposure required for radiography is so low, radiography can be performed on pregnant women and very young pets. Radiographs can be used to assess bone density as well as the size, shape, and position of many organs in the body. The size of organs is important because certain medical conditions, such as kidney, heart, or liver disease, can cause these organs to shrink. Certain medical conditions, such as intestinal blockage or cancer, can alter or distort the shape and position of organs. Tumors can sometimes be detected using radiography, depending on their size and location.