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The 4 clinical applications of paediatric radiology

In the field of medicine, radiology has proven itself time and time again as a very valuable tool in diagnosing illnesses within the paediatric population in spite of the concerns of the risks of exposure to ionizing radiation. This tool is very handy in imaging of the paediatric population which includes fetuses all the way to 21 year old young adults, where it’s crucial to have accurate images of their anatomy and pathology for the successful diagnosis of illnesses.

In this article we are going to briefly look at the 4 clinical applications of paediatric radiology

1 Imaging the paediatric brain

When it comes to imaging the paediatric brain, radiologists will prefer using ultrasound (USG) when it comes to infants because it’s safe, it can be performed from the bedside and it’s relatively cheap. However, when it comes to older children USG may not be so effective therefore radiologists will prefer the using a Computed Tomography (CT)scanswhen evaluation trauma in the brain or aMagnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) when investigating the development and anatomy of brain tissue.

2 Imaging the paediatric chest

When it comes to imaging the paediatric chest, radiologists will prefer using the radiograph. However, for younger children it may be a bit of a challenge because getting a good image requires them to stay absolutely still which they seldom do. CT scans can also be used in older children to simultaneously get detailed images of the thoracic bony cage and, the vascular and pulmonary architecture. The MRI will also come in handy when there is need to get clearer details that distinguish between soft tissues, blood vessels and mediastinal fat.

3 Imaging the paediatric abdomen

When it comes to imaging the paediatric abdomen, radiologists will use a radiograph as the tool to allow doctors to make an initial assessment of the abdomen in order to accurately make a diagnosis. Usually, the ultrasound is more preferred because it is safe and very reliable when it comes to the assessment of intra-abdominal organs including the liver, kidneys and spleen. Through ultrasound, a doctor can be able to confirm a diagnosis and even be able to identify what the cause of the illness is. When it comes to checking for trauma or injuries to organs, CT scans are more preferred.

4 Imaging the paediatric skeleton

When it comes to imaging the paediatric skeleton, radiologists will often start with radiography to detect and categorize any skeletal dysplasia or bone tumors. An MRI will come in handy when determining the stage of the disease as well as doing follow-ups on the disease progression or regression.

Generally, the specific paediatric radiology method used will be determined by the age of the patient as well as the symptoms they are experiencing which give an indication of what they should be screened for.