The approach to investigations must always focus on making an accurate diagnosis, planning management and / or monitoring of disease.
It is important to plan investigations to gain the most information, minimise radiation exposure and need for sedation.
- Radiographs or Computerised Tomography (CT) or Radionuclide Bone Scans result in radiation exposure.
- Ultrasound scanning is increasingly used, with the benefits of no radiation exposure or sedation being required. However, it is operator-dependent.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging may require sedation, but also has the benefit of no radiation. (There can however be some risk in the use of gadolinium contrast if that is required).
- Densitometry is used to assess bone density.
- Echocardiography to assess for evidence of rheumatic heart disease, valvular lesions, aneurysms, or myopathy.