X rays (or radiographs) are used for a variety of purposes. Bones are readily visible on radiographs. Hence, conventional X rays are excellent for detecting fractures, arthritis, and other bony abnormalities. A chest radiograph series is a key study to assess for pneumonia in the lungs or other problems in the chest.
Fluoroscopy is primarily used for gastrointestinal studies. Abnormalities producing chest or abdominal pain such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, or other inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease are readily diagnosable. Studies are also performed to assess for bowel obstruction and cancer of the bowel (such as colon tumors/polyps). Minimally invasive procedures such as arthrography of joints are also performed under fluoroscopy to assess for etiologies of joint pains or other problems. These procedures may also be performed just prior to certain MRI examinations to enhance detection of some injuries.