Pediatric Radiology

The Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

From MRIs and X-rays to CT Scans, pediatric radiologists have a number of tools to aid them in quickly and accurately diagnosing and assessing a child’s illness or injury. While many families may be familiar with an X-ray exam, some may not know about more advanced technologies like CT scans or MRIs. Also, with the recent national media spotlight on radiation exposure, many parents may be concerned about what levels of exposure are appropriate for children.

Q: What does a pediatric radiologist do?

A pediatric radiologist is a medical subspecialist who focuses on the diagnosis of illnesses and injuries of children of all ages using a variety of imaging techniques and equipment. The pediatric radiology team at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus provides timely, comprehensive imaging procedures for pediatric patients. Computed tomography (CT), radiography (X-Ray) and fluoroscopy, interventional radiology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound capabilities are all available at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Q: How are pediatric radiologists AT  Texas Children’s Hospital WEST
Campus different from other radiologists?

Like most radiologists, pediatric radiologists have completed five years of post-graduate subspecialty training after completing medical school. The pediatric radiologists at Texas Children’s Hospital are different from adult radiologists because we have spent an additional one to two years of post-graduate training in the sub-specialized field of pediatrics. Our subspecialties include:

  • Pediatric Interventional Radiology
  • Pediatric Musculoskeletal Imaging
  • Pediatric Neuroradiology
  • Pediatric General Radiology

Q: What are safe radiation  levels for children?

It’s important to limit radiation exposure for everyone. However, while all types of radiation carry risks, low-levels of exposure are safe. What many may not realize is that we are all exposed to radiation on a daily basis by simply walking around. The amount of radiation exposure a child receives from diagnostic tests, including CT scans or X-rays, is relatively small. However, you should speak to your pediatric radiologist about potential alternative diagnostic tests which would provide the necessary information.

If your doctor refers your child to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus for a CT scan, rest assured that your child will receive a very low amount of radiation because our studies are tailored for children. We have analyzed radiation dosages performed on our own patients versus CT studies performed on children at adult facilities. On average, our radiation doses for individual CT studies are 40 percent lower.

Q: How can radiation levels  in children be minimized?

It’s important to have your child’s imaging performed at a child-friendly facility. While many clinics and hospitals offer diagnostic radiology, many are not set up for children. Having your child’s testing done at a pediatric facility is vital as it ensures the machines and levels of radiation that are administered are appropriate to the size of your child. Also, having your child’s testing conducted at a pediatric facility with highly trained experts, like at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, ensures that your child’s tests are done accurately the first time,  and the results are interpreted by expert pediatric radiologists. This will minimize the need for repeat testing and more radiation exposure.

Located at I-10 and Barker Cypress, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus houses a 24/7 pediatric emergency room in the Greater West Houston area,  surgical suites and a minor procedure room, inpatient services and advanced imaging services including ultrasound, MRI and CT scans.

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