, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 160-177

Technical developments in radiology in Australasia dating from 1977

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Abstract

This article outlines the enormous technological advances that have taken place in the practice of radiology in Australasia in the 30 years since approximately 1977. These developments have led to significant improvements in image quality across all modalities, including even general radiography, which had as its genesis Roentgen’s ground-breaking discovery of X-rays in 1895. However, nowhere has the development been more dramatic than in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This may be brought into stark reality by noting that the first MRI image of a human finger was produced in 1976 followed one year later by that of a human chest and the first MRI units were not installed in Australia and New Zealand until 1986 and 1991, respectively. The quality of these early images would be judged as laughable by today’s standards where the impressive isotropic imaging that can be achieved at sub-millimetre level by both MRI and CT could not have been dreamed of 30 years ago. The review also highlights some challenges for the future of the medical physics profession.