High-energy radiation can not only cause serious damage, such as after the Chernobyl nuclear accident or the atomic bomb of Hiroshima. But they are also able to alleviate and heal complaints. Since the groundbreaking discovery of Conrad Röntgen in 1895, rays have secured an important place in medicine, technology and science. The beginning of radiation medicine lies in the discovery of the named after him X-rays (or "X-rays") by Conrad Röntgen.
When her importance in diagnostics was first acknowledged, a few years later she used the Austrian Leopold Freund to treat a large animal-fur mother with a five-year-old girl. Even today - after decades of further development - a distinction is made in the field of radiation medicine between diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
The discovery of X-ray
With the rays discovered and named after him by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, a new medical age began: for more than 100 years "X-ray" in the form of "X-ray examination" and "X-ray" has been the basis of almost every medical examination. First, the classic "radiography" was developed, in which the body of the patient is irradiated from one direction with X-rays.
On the other side, the radiation is "captured" and transformed into an image, in which the different parts of the body can be distinguished by absorbing different amounts of radiation. Because body parts often overlap in this process, images are taken from different projection levels. Even today, we still use the classic X-ray. It is complemented by a wide range of modern methods such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, sonography, subtraction angiography and scintigraphy.
Side effects in the development of the X-ray
Many obstacles had to be overcome on the way to state-of-the-art imaging techniques: it was painstaking to determine which types of damage can be caused by incorrectly applied and overdosed irradiations. Damage to the genetic material, infertility and severe burns were the order of the day for many pioneers.
Today, the risk of damage to health by imaging techniques is usually low and is always set in proportion to the potential benefits.