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X-ray exams and other diagnostic imaging tests can be scary for children. At Intermountain Healthcare, we provide child-friendly medical imaging services that promote healing in a comfortable environment.

The anatomy of children is much different from the anatomy of adults. Our radiologists and technologists are trained to provide comprehensive diagnostic imaging services to infants, children, and adolescents. Our services include the following:

  • X-ray exams. Electromagnetic waves pass through your child’s body to create pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays exams are especially helpful for looking at your child’s bones.
  • CT scans. This kind of exam uses x-ray equipment and computers to create cross-sectional images of your child’s organs and tissues. CT scans are useful for many purposes, including looking at blood vessels and checking for cancer.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This exam uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to create images. MRI scans are an excellent way to look at the soft tissues in your child’s body, such as their brain and spinal cord.
  • Nuclear medicine scans. These scans are made with a special camera that detects radiation. Before the scan, your child will get a shot with a radioactive substance in it, or they might swallow it or breathe it in. The radioactivity will leave their body naturally after the scan is done and won’t cause any harm. This type of scan can be used to look for infection, cancer, or injuries.
  • Positron emission tomography scans. This is a special type of nuclear medicine scan that uses a radioactive tracer to show how organs in your child’s body are working. Also called PET scans, these images are sometimes used to look for cancer that has spread within the body.
  • Ultrasound imaging. This exam uses sound waves directed into your child’s body with a hand-held device called a transducer. The sound waves bounce off of your child’s organs and travel back to the transducer. Then the waves are used to create pictures of your child’s organs. Ultrasound imaging can be used to look at the heart, liver, and kidneys. An ultrasound exam of the heart is called an echocardiogram.
  • Electrocardiograms, which show electrical activity in the heart.
  • Electroencephalograms, which show electrical activity in the brain.

If you have questions about an imaging procedure your child is having, be sure to ask the radiologist or technologist. They can talk with you about:

  • the risks and benefits of the exam
  • how you can help your child get ready
  • what your child will see, hear, and feel during the exam
  • when you can expect to learn the results of the exam

Things You Need to Know

Our board-certified radiologists provide image interpretation services at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City and Primary Children’s Outpatient Services at Riverton Hospital. Both our main campus and the Riverton facility offer pediatric imaging procedures and services.