Radiology Services at Children's Hospital Colorado
The Radiology Department at Children's Hospital Colorado is recognized for their expertise in imaging and evaluating a broad spectrum of childhood diseases and conditions using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment with special pediatric features. The Radiology team at Children's Colorado consists of board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric radiologists.
See a list of our radiologists
Our Radiology team works with kids, and only kids, every day. We use equipment designed for children, making tests more comfortable for kids, exposing them to as little radiation as necessary and producing more accurate information. Our specialists are comfortable working with kids and making them feel safe in the test environment. When necessary, conscious sedation is substituted for general anesthesia depending on patient age and type of procedure. We are strong supporters of the national Image Gently campaign to reduce radiation exposure in children.
Radiology Conditions Treated
Imaging services are performed for all childhood diseases or conditions, including:
Imaging Technologies Provided at Children's Hospital Colorado
Radiography and X-rays
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is particularly useful in evaluating neurologic, orthopedic and oncologic disorders. The technology's unprecedented image accuracy can mean the early detection and treatment of many diseases. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) allows for non-invasive visualization of veins and arteries without intravenous contrast administration. Maximum patient comfort and security including:
- We have an audio/visual DVD system that allows the patient to watch a movie during MRI scanning
- Two-way audio system so child and clinician can communicate throughout the exam
- Constant closed-circuit TV supervision for complete patient safety
Computerized Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)
A CT, or CAT, scan enables specialists at Children's Colorado to look at "slices" of a patient's body. The use of contrast agents, administered through an IV, can be used, depending on the tissues that need to be seen. High-speed, high-resolution technology with spiral scan capability permits an entire abdominal exam to be performed in less than 10 minutes. Fluoroscopic CT with real time imaging is used for CT guided intervention. Scanning and programmable sub-second imaging can eliminate the need for sedation with most children.
Radiation in children
Our Radiology team supports the national Image Gently campaign and its recommended practices. The goal of Image Gently is to create awareness of the different effects of radiation on a child versus an adult. Much of the emphasis has been placed on the use of CT scanning.
While CT scanning is a very valuable diagnostic tool, it is the largest contributor to medical radiation exposure in the U.S population. Radiation exposure is a concern in both adults and children. However there are unique considerations in children:
- Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults
- Children have a longer life expectancy than adults, resulting in a larger window of opportunity for radiation dosage
- Children receive a higher dose than necessary when adult CT settings are use for children
At Children's Hospital Colorado, we are taking these steps to ensure that CT exams are done safely and effectively:
- When CT is identified as the exam of choice, making sure that the indications are appropriate
- Reduce the amount of radiation by adjusting the exposure factors for children
- Scanning only the indicated area, and avoiding exposure to other areas of the child's body
- Avoid use of multi-phase imaging
- Annual inspections and certifications by State of CO authorized inspectors to ensure proper equipment maintenance
- Radiologic technologists who are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists with an advanced certification in CT
- Board certified Radiologists with specific fellowship training in pediatric radiology
You have asked us to provide diagnostic imaging services for your child, and we are promising to Image them Gently.
Nuclear Imaging (SPECT)
As a component of radiology services, nuclear imaging is also done, providing high-resolution and whole body imaging, offering physicians improved opportunities for diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as tumor localization, growth or reduction in size. This provides 3D information and can be presented as cross-sectional slices through the patient.
Fluoroscopy is mainly used to view movement (of tissue or a contrast agent), or to guide a medical intervention, such as angioplasty, pacemaker insertion, or orthopedic repair.
The ability of fluoroscopy, ultrasound, and computed tomography to visualize the internal structures of the body has naturally led to the use of these imaging modalities to guide precise placement of needles and catheters. These procedures are performed through very small skin incisions and can frequently prevent or simplify subsequent surgery.
At Children's Hospital Colorado, we provide a biplane, digital angiography suite with special features for pediatric patients. Fluoroscopic computed tomography provides real-time cross-sectional imaging guidance. Our technologists and nurses are experienced in the performance of interventional procedures on the pediatric population. Interventional Radiology is used to perform many procedures, including:
- Diagnostic angiography
- Transcatheter vascular embolization
- Balloon angioplasty
- Tissue biopsy
- Central venous lines and ports
- Gastrostomy and gastrojejunostomy
- Foreign body retrieval
- Abscess drainage
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
PET, or positron emission technology, is combined with CT, or computed tomography, in one machine that combines the individual advantages of each technology. PET/CT produces three dimensional images of superior quality that provide physcisians with more information about a medical condition at a greater level of detail. PET/CT is very helpful as a tool to help identify staging in oncology treatment; and in diagnosing and treatment planning of neurology patients.