Children's Hospital Colorado

Low Radiation X-Ray – The EOS Imaging System

We care for patients’ growing muscles, joints and bones through sports medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and research.

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The EOS Imaging System, or EOS X-ray, at Children’s Hospital Colorado provides a scan of your child while they are in a standing position. It is a low radiation imaging scan, meaning it produces a significantly reduced amount of radiation compared to typical X-rays. This is safer for children with progressive conditions who may need imaging exams throughout their life.

What is an EOS image?

An EOS image is a low-dose radiation scan mainly used for patients in need of a scoliosis X-ray or imaging for a spine, hip or leg disorder. The image is taken while your child is standing, allowing our specialists to get a better view of structural abnormalities — like a curved spine — so we can make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment.

Unlike a traditional X-ray, which stiches multiple images together, the EOS machine conveniently produces just one, high-quality image similar to an X-ray that can include the entire body when necessary.

EOS images can also be reconstructed into 3D images that are increasingly used for research purposes to develop better surgical treatments for scoliosis, hip and leg disorders. In the future, we may even be able to use these 3D reconstructions to plan a more personalized surgery for your child.

We do not typically use EOS images for injuries like broken arms or legs. Traditional X-rays are still the standard method of examination for those, but we adhere to the Image Gently guidelines so that we reduce your child’s exposure to radiation. This includes:

  • Using X-ray machines with the least amount of radiation possible
  • Adjusting the X-ray settings to your child’s size
  • Taking an X-ray of only the indicated area
  • Completing annual inspections and certifications from the State of Colorado’s authorized inspectors to insure proper equipment maintenance

What to expect during an EOS image

Your child will likely need to change into an exam gown before the image is taken, but they won’t need to put on a traditional lead apron because the machine produces such a low dose of radiation. A radiology tech will then ask your child to stand in the EOS machine for the image. One of the additional benefits of EOS is that an entire body scan takes less than 15 seconds, making it an easier process for kids who have a hard time staying still.

While inside the machine, your child will see flashes of light traveling up and down the machine. These beams are simultaneously capturing images of your child’s body from the front and side.

What to expect after an EOS image

An EOS image is a quick, painless and non-invasive procedure. Your child should not have any side effects, symptoms or pain related to the image.

After the image is complete, the results are available immediately. Your child’s orthopedic specialist will review the image with you and outline next steps.

Why choose us for an EOS image

As pediatric experts, we understand that kids are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of radiation. EOS imaging significantly reduces a child’s exposure to radiation, while still providing an extremely detailed image we can use to make a more accurate diagnosis of your child’s injury or condition. Children’s Colorado was one of the first hospitals in Colorado and the U.S. to offer EOS imaging.

Even though EOS is fast and doesn’t hurt, we understand that any test or procedure can be scary for some children. When necessary, our specialists can thoroughly explain the imaging process in a way that will help calm your child’s nerves and make the process as easy as possible for them.

We’re also recognized for our:

  • Pediatric radiology expertise
    Our expertise in pediatric imaging and the evaluation of conditions and injuries using high-quality diagnostic equipment with special features just for kids is one of the many things that sets us apart.
  • Dedicated pediatric specialists
    Our radiology and orthopedics teams include board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric experts who specialize in kids and only kids.
  • Advanced technology made with kids in mind
    From scoliosis care using our EOS imaging system to our other state-of the-art evaluation and testing equipment, everything we use is designed to cater specifically to kids.
  • Convenient processes
    We do everything we can to reduce your wait time and streamline your child’s evaluation and testing. The entire EOS imaging process often takes minutes, with the scan itself taking only about 15 seconds.

Contact the Orthopedics Institute

For more information on how a child qualifies for an EOS image, call 720-777-6600.