Glossary

CT   (Computerised Tomography)  A specialised x-ray scanning technique where the patient lies on a table and the xray machine rotates around the patient to obtain cross-sectional images of the body.

Bursae   A small fluid filled sac that forms around the joints in the body to help reduce friction when the joints are moving.

Down Syndrome   A condition that is the result of a genetic abnormality, causing intellectual impairment and characteristic physical appearance.  Also known as Trisomy 21.

ECG   (Electrocardiogram) A record of the electrical activity of the heart recorded on paper.  This is obtained by placing small electrodes on the skin surface which are then attached to a electrocardiograph machine.

Echocardiogram   An ultrasound probe is placed on the chest to investigate and display images of the heart as it beats.

Echocardiographer  A registered medical professional trained specifically to obtain real time images of the heart using an ultrasound machine.

Foetal   A term used when describing a foetus, which is from eight weeks gestation to full term.

Gestation   The period of time from when a fertilised egg develops into a baby which is ready for delivery.

Hydrocortisone   A steroid preparation that is used to treat inflammatory conditions in the body.

Mammographer   A registered medical professional specifically trained to obtain x-ray images of breast tissue.

MRI   (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)  A specialised imaging technique that uses high frequency radiowaves and a magnetic field to obtain cross-sectional images of the body. It is particularly useful for imaging the musculoskeletal and central nervous system.

MRT   (Medical Radiation Technologist)  A registered medical professional trained in the use of x-rays to obtain images of the human body.

Musculoskeletal   A term used to describe the muscle system and skeletal system together.

Nuchal   An abbreviated term used to describe a Nuchal Translucency Scan.  This is an ultrasound examination of a foetus between 12 and 14 weeks gestation, where the fluid at the back of the neck (nuchal fold) is measured. This measurement helps to assess the risk of a chromosomal abnormality.

Obstetric   A term used to describe the medical specialty for the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Pacemaker   A battery operated device surgically implanted under the skin on the chest and linked to the heart with an electrode wire.  The heart is stimulated by this wire to produce and maintain a normal heart rate.

Radiologist   A doctor who specialises in the interpretation of medical images for the diagnosis of disease.

Sonographer   A registered medical professional trained to obtain images of the body using an ultrasound machine.

Therapeutic Injection   The injection of cortisone (steroid) into targeted areas of the body in order to provide pain relief, typically done under ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance.

Transducer   A hand held device attached to an ultrasound machine that converts reflected ultrasound waves into a diagnostic image displayed on a TV monitor.

Trimester   A term used to divide a pregnancy into three month periods (the first, second and third trimesters).

Ultrasound   The use of high frequency sound waves to produce real time images of the body on a TV screen.

Viability   A term used to describe the likelihood of a foetus surviving outside of the womb.

X-ray   An imaging technique that uses radiation to obtain images of the body.