Keeping medical imaging safe for children

ScienceDaily | Published online: 15 September 2016


When a doctor recommends medical imaging for a child, parents may find themselves confused and concerned. What’s the difference between an MRI and a CT scan? An X-ray and an ultrasound? Will it involve radiation that could harm the child in the long term?

Penn State Health follows the principles set forth by the Image Gently Alliance, which works to improve safe and effective imaging of children worldwide.

Dr. Sosamma Methratta, division chief for pediatric radiology at Penn State Children’s Hospital, said radiologists often talk with the doctor ordering an image to learn specifically what he or she is looking for, so they can determine which type of image would be best.

Ultrasound and MRI do not involve radiation because the images come together through sound waves and magnetic energy, respectively. Both X-rays and CT scans send low radiation beams through the body to produce images.

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