Section VII. SOFT TISSUE RADIOLOGY
Soft-tissue radiography is a procedure whereby the associated technical factors
are so balanced as to produce a radiograph that provides optimum demonstration of the
essential details within the soft-tissue structure under consideration. Since a radiograph
of any part of the body is a study of the differences in density within the area exposed, a
of these differences in density is very useful in accomplishing soft-tissue radiography.
Many factors that influence radiographic quality have already been considered in detail
in another subcourse. When applied to soft-tissue radiography, some differences of
emphasis among the various factors become necessary, depending upon the part or
parts of interest. The principal aim is to achieve maximum contrast based on the
differences in density of the tissues in question. Some parts of the body lend
themselves more readily to this procedure than others. Anatomical parts or areas
having great differences in tissue density are less difficult and allow for wider latitude in
exposure factors. On the other hand, when a body of soft tissue consists of adjacent-
lying structures with each differing in density to an extent approaching imperceptibility, it
is necessary to employ the most exacting technique if maximum diagnostic quality is to
Some of the situations and conditions wherein soft-tissue radiography techniques
may be needed are listed below.
a. Muscles. You may be required to perform work showing anatomic outlines of
specific muscle structures, areas of calcification, ruptures, or areas of muscular
b. Blood Vessels. Radiographs demonstrating various forms of calcification,
varicose veins, phleboliths, or thrombi may be needed.
c. Breast. You may make exposures to locate possible tumors of the breast.
d. Tumors. Radiographs that demonstrate the extent, location, and
characteristics of various cartilaginous or nonosseous tumors may be required.
e. Gas Gangrene. You may be asked to do work demonstrating the presence
and extent of involvement of gas gangrene.
f. Foreign Bodies. Various nonmetallic foreign bodies may need to be located.
g. Fracture Sites. Soft-tissue techniques are needed to demonstrate early