19 Dec X-ray: Skull
Alternative Names: Skull X-ray,Head X-ray
A skull, or head, X-ray is done to examine the skull (including the facial bones, sinuses, and the nose) when there are problems such as headache, epilepsy, or head injury. Problems to the head can be caused by bleeding in the brain (intra-cerebral haemorrhage), brain tumours and cancers, water on the brain (hydrocephalus), pituitary gland tumours, sinusitis, and broken bones (fractures). An X-ray creates images by using radiation, which passes through the body. On the image, air is black, dense structures (e.g. bone) are white, and there are greys in between. You would either lie still on an X-ray table or sit in a chair while the images are taken.
What is it?
An X-ray uses radiation, passed through the body, to create images. The different body structures appear as black, white, and shades of grey. Air is black, very dense structures (like bone) are white, with a range of greys in between.
An X-ray is performed in a radiology facility although some machines are mobile and can be used in hospital wards and operating theatres. An X-ray usually takes less than an hour to perform.
Why is it done?
A skull X-ray is done to examine the skull, including the facial bones, sinuses and the nose.
It is often done to investigate problems such as:
- Head injury
It is often done when considering diagnoses such as:
- Intra-cerebral haemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)
- Brain tumours and cancers
- Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
- Pituitary gland (small but important gland in the brain) tumours
- Fractures (broken bones) involving the bones of the skull or the facial bones
Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is needed although all jewellery and other metal objects should be removed.
During – how the test is done
You will either lie on an X-ray table or sit in a chair. You will be asked to move into certain positions and then sit very still while the X-rays are taken. There is no discomfort at all.
After the test
The results will be available a short time after the X-ray has been taken – usually an hour or so, depending on how quickly the radiologist is able to look at, and interpret, the images.
Risks and Compilations
There is a small risk associated with the radiation involved but most experts do not consider this to be a significant problem.
A skull, or head, X-ray is done to examine the skull (including the facial bones, sinuses, and the nose) when there are problems such as headache, epilepsy, or head injury.
Skull X-ray,Head X-ray