Pediatric Radiology

Pediatric Radiology is a subspecialty that images the smallest of premature infants, children, adolescents, and even young adults with special needs.

Here, at Radiology Group of Abington, we pledge to Image Gently. That means that we will use radiation to image your child only when necessary, and use a dose as low as possible to obtain the information your doctor needs. Come to Abington Health and we will care for your child as if they are our own.

Pediatric Services

X-rays

X-Rays or radiographs are quick, painless, and require no appointment. Both computerized radiography and digital radiography is utilized at Abington, to lower radiation dose, improve image quality, and lower the rate of repeat imaging.

Fluoroscopy

Upper GI (UGI) or Barium Sallow

This exam requires your child to fast; the time is age dependant. Your child will drink fluid in Radiology while the radiologist or radiology assistant watches with the “radiology camera”, and takes appropriate images. The number of images is kept as low as possible to make the diagnosis and limit the dose.

Small Bowel Follow Through

Sometimes your doctor will order a small bowel follow through in addition to the Upper GI exam. Your child may be asked to drink additional contrast after the UGI, and films will be obtained, usually every half hour, until contrast is seen entering the colon.

Barium Enema

A barium enema is an X-ray study in which a small tube is inserted into your child’s rectum and the large intestine is then filled with a non-toxic liquid. This contrast liquid highlights the rectum and large intestine. During the exam pictures are taken by the radiologist or radiologist assistant with the fluoroscopy “camera”. If your child has constipation, there is no special preparation for this exam, other than no solid food after midnight and restricting liquids by mouth two hours before the study.

Voiding Cystourethrogram

A VCUG can help diagnose reflux and some bladder abnormalities, and help assess why your child has recurring urinary tract infections. It is also used to follow-up on patients with known urinary reflux following antibiotics or anti-reflux surgery. Your child is encouraged to bring a special small toy or blanket to comfort them during the procedure. There is no special preparation for this examination. However you know your child best and it is important that you explain the procedure in terms he/she will understand prior to your arrival to help them have a more positive experience.

What should I expect during my child’s VCUG?

The procedure will be performed by a highly trained pediatric radiologist/radiology assistant. The technologist will gently position your child so that the genitals are optimally visualized. The doctor or radiology assistant will then cleanse the area with sterile soap and insert a small flexible catheter (plastic tube) into the urinary bladder. The catheter will be connected to a bottle containing a clear liquid called X-ray contrast, which allows the radiologist to see inside the bladder. An X-ray camera will be positioned over your child and used to take pictures during the study. When your child’s bladder is full, your child will be asked to void into a plastic pool on the x-ray table. The entire test may take between 5 to 15 minutes.

Often, parents, pediatricians, and pediatric specialists ask that the VCUG be performed with sedation. At Abington Health, we believe that sedation is the exception, not the rule. Of course, each case and every child must be considered on an individual basis. If you have questions or concerns regarding this exam and the use of sedation, please call 215-481-2071 or email us.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to image various parts of the body. Because no radiation is used, this modality is very useful in the pediatric population. At Abington Health, we have expertise in pediatric ultrasound, including the most frequently requested exams of the:

  • Brain
  • Spine
  • Hips
  • Kidneys
  • Abdomen
  • Pelvis
  • Pylorus

CT “CAT” Scan

CT scans deliver the highest dose of radiation among the most commonly performed radiology exams. Because the exam is extremely useful and aids in the diagnosis of so many conditions in both adults and children, a international initiative called Image Gently was created, combining the expertise of pediatric radiologists and physicists, to image children with a dose that is as low as possible.  We are able to perform a wide array of pediatric CT scans, and because the images are so quickly acquired by computer, sedation is very rarely needed.

  • All of us at Radiology Group of Abington recognize that children are more sensitive to radiation than adults.  Therefore, our commitment to you and your child is to “kid-size” all of our techniques in order to dramatically reduce radiation doses during all of our exams.
  • We continue to work closely with our physicist to implement specialized pediatric protocols and we use shielding techniques to reduce radiation exposure to areas of the body that are not being directly imaged.
  • At RGA, we image safely and we Image Gently.

MRI

MRI uses radiofrequency and magnetic waves to generate images with exquisite detail. No radiation is utilized. Because motion severely degrades image quality, sedation may be required. At Abington, we are fortunate to have a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and specially trained nurse anesthetists to safely sedate your child. As they sleep under their watchful eye, we obtain images without radiation. But every child does not need sedation; it depends on the type of exam that is ordered and both the age and developmental stage of your little one. Feel free to call 215-481-2071 if you need to schedule an MRI with sedation.