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Top: Early x-ray machine. Photo: Hutton Archive by Getty Images. Bottom: Modern bone scan showing metastatic prostate cancer.

essential in evaluating the entire spectrum of urological diseases. The "spiral CT" has only reinforced its position by producing volumes of real-time data in just seconds.

MRI technology provided unique structural and biochemical information when it emerged in the 1980s. By measuring the absorption of high-frequency radio waves beamed into a body subjected to magnetic fields, it takes the assessment of complex masses and many urological diseases to a new precision level.

These technologies have given urologists great versatility. But they're also a harbinger of future developments as scientists search for more effective ways to diagnose and screen patients. Urologists may soon add "digital" and "virtual reality" to their daily lexicon, reading filmless "real-time" images on hand-held computer devices and rehearsing "virtual" surgeries before touching patients. With such possiblities illuminating its future, uroradiology's next hundred years promise to be brighter than the past. Yet nothing has ever enlightened urologists quite like the inventive genius of Röntgen ... and the first radiologic milestone: the X-ray.

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