Updates

Radiology

Programs and Services

The Department of Radiology provides a full range of imaging services and image guided procedures for newborns, infants, children, teenagers, young adults and pregnant women at Texas Children's Hospital – Medical Center Campus in Houston.  Many of our services are also available at our community hospital locations including Texas Children’s West Campus in Katy, Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, and our satellite Specialty Care and Urgent Care Centers.  This gives you the convenience of staying in a community suitable for you. 

At all Texas Children’s Hospital locations you will have:

  • Nationally recognized board-certified radiologists and pediatric radiologists
  • Technologists trained in every aspect of adult and pediatric diagnostics
  • Patient and family centered precision imaging
  • Most up-to date, high-end imaging equipment which guarantees highest level of quality and safety
  • Intense collaboration between radiologists and treating physicians to guarantee best imaging options
  • Imaging protocols to assure the lowest radiation dose possible, without compromising diagnostic accuracy

Clinical Services

Using new technologies, 3D printing enables our team to translate diagnostic images into exact 3D replicas used by surgeons and other doctors to prepare for surgery and explain procedures or anomalies to you and your family. The machine used within the 3D lab creates the model by layering melted plastic. Among the uses for these physical models are:

A CT scan uses special X-ray machines and powerful computers to make a series of detailed pictures of the inside of the body, including bone, tissue and blood vessels. CT scans are painless, though it may be difficult for some children to lie still long enough to complete the test.

EOS is an innovative technology that employs an ultra-low dose of radiation to provide a precise life-size, 3-D image of the patient’s full-body skeleton. This painless test is particularly useful in imaging of patients with spine, hip and knee problems.

Interventional Radiology (IR) specializes in using image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures. By using ultrasound, x-rays, and CT scans we are able to diagnose and treat disorders to further direct care with less pain, less risk, and quicker recovery time than regular surgery. From central line placements, image guided biopsy, to cancer treatments, we provide the entire range of minimally invasive procedures for our pediatric patients.

MEG is an imaging technique that maps brain activity by recording magnetic fields made by the electrical currents in the brain. It uses very sensitive magnetometers and produces a magnetic source image.

MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves and computer to make clear and detailed pictures of the inside of the body. MRI is painless, does not use radiation and has few known side effects. The MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. Your child will lie on a moveable examination table that slides into the center of the magnet. MRI provides valuable information that can help doctors determine if your child has certain diseases or the extent of an injury. 

Under the direction of J. Herman Kan, MD, our pediatric musculoskeletal radiology services are tailored specifically to the needs, age and size of our pediatric patients and are optimized to assess sports injuries, growing bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. We provide subspecialty pediatric musculoskeletal radiology care inclusive of diagnostic (Radiography, CT, MRI, US, EOS spine imaging) and interventional (image guided joint and tendon sheath injections, arthrography, joint aspirations, and US guided ganglion cyst fenestration) procedures.

Nuclear Radiology, also called Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, uses small amounts of radioactive materials to diagnose or treat disease. These materials are sometimes called radiopharmaceuticals or tracers.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a type of nuclear radiology, in which a small amount of radioactive material is injected into the body. It shows how an organ or part of the body functions.

When PET is combined with a CT scan, it produces an extremely accurate picture of what is happening inside a child’s body. This may lead to more effective diagnosis or treatment.

Radiography imaging includes:

  • Standard radiography (X-rays)
  • Fluoroscopy (real-time images created with X-rays)

These are some of the most common types of radiology imaging. Doctors use them to evaluate a variety of illnesses or injuries in many parts of the body.

Ultrasound uses computers and high-frequency sound waves, not radiation, to make pictures of the inside of the body. The test is painless, and there are no known side effects.

Ultrasound tests can show the structure and movement of the internal organs and blood flowing through vessels. Abdominal ultrasounds are common and may be used to if a child has abnormal or frequent vomiting, a painful or swollen abdomen, or traumatic abdominal injuries.

Support Services

Sometimes, sedation is required for you child to be able to stay still through the entirety of an imaging procedure. The radiology department partners very closely with specialized pediatric anesthesiologists at Texas Children's Hospital to provide the safest and most efficient care for your child to get the study they need.

Texas Children's child life specialists can help you and your child prepare for a visit and ease fears about medical procedures. Our specialists explain procedures in a kid-friendly way and keep children calm through creative interventions including toys, music, and special breathing techniques. 

MRI mock scanners look and sound like a real scanner but on a smaller scale. It has a bed that children can lie on and travel into a tunnel like a real scanner. The MRI scanner makes loud noises while the pictures are being taken. The mock scanner simulates those noises and prepares a child for what to expect. Allowing a child to practice their scan before they enter the real scanner helps them better understand their role (to lie still) and become more comfortable with something that is unfamiliar to them. A generous donation from the Cook Family of Houston has made this exciting new technology possible. The MRI mock scanner is currently available in the Texas Medical Center Campus and coming soon to the West Campus. Call 832-826-5371 to discuss scheduling an appointment.