radiography History 400
Highlights of X-ray radiology from the discovery of x-rays through its multiple uses including: radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, cardiac catherization, digital subtraction angiography, and bone densitometry.

1875

crookes 640 1

Crookes Cathode Ray Tube Invented

Modern X-ray Tube Predecessor

The cathode ray tube was invented by English physicist William Crookes before scientists had discovered x-rays or electrons. 

After later research it was discovered that the cathode rays were actually electrons being drawn across a positive potential. 


1875

1895

Anna Bertha Ludwig

X-Rays Discovered

X-Ray Imaging Predecessor

Rontgen discovered the unknown particles and hence called them x-rays as x typically is an unknown variable. 

He did so by using a cathode ray tube and covering it in paper so as to block the electrons from escaping. However, the x-rays penetrated the paper and were detected using a phosphorous screen.

The first human x-ray was of Rontgen’s wife hand (print of this x-ray shown above).


1895

1900

 

fluoroscopy min

Fluroscopy Invented

The first imaging devices used to provide realtime feedback for guiding medical procedures was invented by Thomas Edison. 


1900

1901

rontgen

Nobel Prize Physics

Discovery of X-rays

Rontgen given the first Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of X-rays.


1901

1913

scatter min 1

First Anti-scatter X-ray Grid

Gustav Bucky invented the first x-ray grid. He is still the namesake for the Bucky factor which is a measure of the efficiency of a grid as it is the ratio of x-rays that are stopped in the grid to those that pass through the grid.


1913

1913

Icon for X Ray Tube

Modern x-ray tube developed

The hot cathode x-ray tube which uses thermionic emission was patented in 1913 and produced in 1917 by GE lead by William D. Coolige. Thus, the design of the modern tube is often still referred to as the Coolige tube.


1913

1913

albertSalmonBW minFirst Dedicated Radiograph of Breast Tissue

Mammography Predecessor

German surgeon Albert Salmon took a radiographs of breast tissue after it was excised from a mastectomy. He studied over 3000 mastectomies and found: micro-calcifications and different types of breast cancer.  Salmon was later discharged from the University of Berlin during the Hitler regime and after forced time in a concentration camp he left Germany for Holland. 


1913

1918

eastman min

X-ray Film Introduced

 

Eastman introduces film to radiography, which replaced the glass plates previously used.


1918

1920-1970s

footoscope minX-ray imaging used for fitting shoes

Beginning before but continuing long after the genetic effects of radiation were known. This practice was used to fit shoes with brands such as Foot-o-scope and Pedoscope. 


1920-1970s

1926

fruit flies min

First Demonstration of Genetic Effects of x-rays

Hermann Joseph Muller found a strong relationship between the x-ray dose fruit flies were exposed to and legal genetic damage. This was the first direct evidence of genetic effects from radiation.


1926

1929

Werner Forssmann

Cardiac Cath

Cath lab predecessor

The first clinical cardiac catheterization was performed by Werner Forssmann. 


1929

1930

staffordWarren

First Clinical Breast x-ray Imaging

Mammography Predecessor

Stafford Warren, a radiologist a Rochester Memorial Hospital, conducted the first clinical mammography trial with 119 patients.


1930

1932

tomography

First X-ray tomography

Tomosynthesis predecessor

Ziedes des Plantes demonstrated the technique that by moving the x-ray source and image receptor (film) that a tomographic image can be generated. In this image structures above and below the focal plane are blurred out whereas those lying in the focal plane remain in focus. 


1932

1934

imageIntensifier

Image Intensifier

 

G. Holst from Phillips developed an early image intensifier. After about a decade of development an image intensifier was then produced for medical applications.


1934

1946

Hermann Joseph Muller min

Nobel Prize for demonstrating the Genetic effects of radiation

Hermann Joseph Muller received the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for being the first to link radiation and genetic damage. 


1946

1949

compression min

Breast Compression Introduced

 

Raule Leborgne from Uruguay introduced breast compression to breast x-ray imaging to reduce x-ray scatter, anatomical clutter and x-ray attenuation.


1949

1953

hand subtraction min

Subtraction imaging

DSA predecessor

Bernard George Ziedes des Plantes who trained in Utect (Netherlands) used two consecutive x-ray exposures: one with contrast and one without contrast to highlight just the contrast enhanced region.  


1953

1956

forssmannCournand

Nobel Prize for cardiac catheterization

 

The Nobel prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to Werner Forssmann, Andre Frederic Cournand and Dickinson Richards for the cardiac cathereterization. The first cath lab being at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, which is associated with Columbia University.  


1956

1964

catheter alpha min 1

First Angioplasty

Interventional Radiography Predecessor 

Charles Dotter proposed and demonstrated the first use of percutaneous angioplasty such that a clot could be removed from within rather than performing imaging only to inform the recommendation of invasive surgery. 


1964

1972

 

tomosynthesis

First Tomosynthesis Imaging

Tomosynthesis predecessor

D. G. Grant expanded on earlier x-ray tomography approaches by proposing a method that enables reconstruction of planes above and below the focal plane. 


1972

1977

cath image min

Percutaneous coronary angioplasty

Andreas Roland Gruntzig, a German Radiologist and Cardiologist, was the first to perform a coronary angioplasty on a human that was awake. The procedure was performed in Zurich Switzerland.


1977

1980

dsa mistretta min

Digital Subtraction Angiography

Chuck Mistretta from UW Madison was granted the US patent for realtime subtraction imaging. This is particularly helpful to suppress the background tissue such that only the contrast agent will be present in the images.


1980

1981

dexaScan min 1

Dual Energy X-ray Absorption (DEXA)  demonstrated in bone density measurements

Following previous work at UW Madison using Gd sources, the Mazess lab demonstrated that bone densitometry is possible using x-ray projections acquired with a standard x-ray tube at tube at two different energies. Mazess founded a company in his nighttime hours based on this concept, hence Lunar. Which was subsequently acquired and is now GE Lunar. 


1981

1983

computedRadiology min

Computed Radiography (CR) system used clinically 

As an intermediate improvement from film processing a reusable phosphor stimulated detector was used. This was termed Computed Radiography (CR). This wins the award for most deceptive naming used on this page as there is no actual computing as in computed tomography.  


1983

2000

digital detector min

Digital X-ray Detectors used commercially

Radiography and mammography specific detectors were introduced and began clinical use.


2000

2011

mammographyTomo min

First Breast Tomography FDA cleared

Hologic received FDA clearance for breast tomosynthesis, i.e. commercially referred to as 3D breast imaging. In reality tomosynthesis is ~2.5D where standard projection imaging is 2D and true breast CT is 3D.


2011

Provide easily accessible content, focusing on direct explanations of physical concepts in Radiology

Provide easily accessible content, focusing on direct explanations of physical concepts in Radiology

Provide easily accessible content, focusing on direct explanations of physical concepts in Radiology

Provide easily accessible content, focusing on direct explanations of physical concepts in Radiology

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