What are X-rays of the Lymph Nodes?
X-rays are a common imaging test that uses small amounts of high-energy electromagnetic radiation to produce images for doctors to view the inside of the body. The level of exposure is considered safe for adults. It is not considered safe for a developing fetus so it is very important that a pregnant patient informs a physician of their pregnancy before having an X-ray taken.
X-rays pass through skin and soft tissue mostly, but do not pass through bone or metal easily. As different tissues in the body absorb different amounts of radiation, the images will show different shades of black and white.
One of the most common uses of an X-ray is to check for broken bones after an accident, but they are also used under many other circumstances.
X-rays are used to identify, diagnose, and treat many types of medical conditions. It is a key element and often times the first to be done in the diagnosis process.
An image of the lymph nodes can be seen in a chest X-ray, along with the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. A lymphangiogram is a special type of X-ray of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels. Lymph nodes may not be seen clearly on a standard X-ray, so dye is often injected into the body to highlight the area.
Reasons for a Lymph Node X-Ray:
X-rays are used for a multitude of reasons. A physician may order an X-ray to check for certain cancers in different parts of the body by detecting abnormal tumors, growths or lumps.
A lymph node X-ray is used to view the area of the body where a patient is experiencing pain, swelling, or other abnormalities that require an internal view of the organs. The X-ray can help a physician find a cause for the problems occurring.
X-rays can be used to diagnose a disease, monitor the progression of the disease, determine a treatment plan, and see the effect of a treatment plan.
Physicians use X-rays to locate foreign objects within the body and to guide them in setting broken bones.
A Lymph Node X-Ray may help diagnose (find):
An X-ray of the lymph nodes can result in detecting enlarged nodes, which will appear foamy.
Detecting enlarged lymph nodes can also lead to the diagnosis of lymphatic cancer.
Another sign of lymphatic cancer that can be determined by taking an X-ray of the lymph nodes is if the dye injected into the body to highlight the area does not show up on the X-ray. This can indicate that there is a blockage.
A lymph node X-ray that shows a blockage could indicate that there is a tumor, infection, or injury, which can also be detected.