Medical Imaging
by Harry LeVine, III
April 2010, 211pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35969-9
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-0-313-35970-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

It has become magic that we take for granted—the ability to look inside the human body, to watch systems function, to diagnose illness, or see one’s first baby in utero. Yet the World Health Organization estimates that two-thirds of the world’s population do not have access even to basic radiology or ultrasound facilities.

A prize-winning medical writer offers an explanation of modern diagnostic medical imaging technologies—and the issues that result from their use and misuse.

Medical Imaging describes the discovery and development of diagnostic imaging technologies, explaining how the technologies work and exploring some of the issues that such powerful and expensive technologies create. The book begins with the discovery of X-rays in 1895 and traces the history of imaging technology through today’s tools, such as X-ray computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional imaging by positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).

The contribution of these expensive technologies to the rising cost of healthcare in the United States and the unequal distribution of imaging diagnostic facilities, particularly in developing countries, is also considered. In addition, the book explores ethical questions that have surfaced in the past, including the reportability of incidental findings during a scan and admissibility of medical images as evidence in courts of law , and such newly emerging issues as the application of imaging tools in lie detection and the mammography guidelines controversy of 2009.


  • Various charts and illustrations show medical imaging modalities, Medicare medical imaging costs, distribution of imaging costs, physicians' fees by modality, nuclear imaging probes, and medical imaging physics
  • A glossary defines key terms necessary to understanding medical imaging technology such as "positron," "half-life," and “tomography," as well as acronyms such as "MRI,", "PET," "SPECT," and "CT"
  • Presents documents including early popular science articles on X-ray technology and its abuse
Harry LeVine, III, PhD, is associate professor in the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. He has written Genetic Engineering: A Reference Handbook and The Great Explainer: The Story of Richard Feynman and has published articles for children in Cricket and Cicada magazines. He is a coauthor of the textbook Drug Discovery and Development: Technology In Transition, winner of 1st prize as medical book of the year in the 2006 Society of Authors/Royal Society of Medicine medical book competition.


"In the two major sections, Le Vine (Univ. of Kentucky in Lexington) offers a fascinating history of the various forms of medical imaging and the current controversies surrounding their uses. He describes the most current technologies in sufficient detail so that readers obtain the requisite knowledge base. The second section is the gem. Against a background of today's rising health care costs and the misinformation provided on the Internet, the author clarifies many of the urban legends surrounding imaging technologies. The final section provides a highly current and comprehensive set of references and resources. Charts, illustrations, and a glossary are included. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General audience, health care students, and perhaps entry-level health care practitioners."—Choice, January 1, 2011

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