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Paediatric radiology

  Paediatric radiology is a subspecialty of radiology involving the imaging of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Many paediatric radiologists practice at children's hospitals.



To successfully diagnose a paediatric condition, high quality images are needed to give a diagnosis. To achieve this requires creating an environment where a child is comfortable. This is one of the most essential elements to paediatric radiology. For imaging departments which specialise in paediatric radiology, this is very easy as rooms can be tailored to suit a child's needs. For example bright wall designs, visual stimulation and toys. These can be permanent fixtures as the department wouldn't need to cater to any other age range. For departments which only see children occasionally, creating a 'child friendly' environment is more difficult. It is usually achieved by creating one room a 'child friendly room' where murals / stencils can be painted on the wall. Modern children's hospitals are now designed with lots of glass to allow as much natural light in as possible, the Evelina Children's Hospital being one of these.  


Paediatric radiology comes with many challenges. Unlike adults, children cannot always understand / comprehend a change of environment. Therefore staff are usually required to wear colourful uniforms, usually 'scrubs', as opposed to a normal hospital uniform. It is also important to recognise that when a child is unwell, they follow their instincts, which is usually to cry and stay close to their parents. This presents a huge challenge for the radiographer, who must try to gain the childs trust and gain their co-operation. Once co-operation has been achieved there is another big challenge of keeping the child still for their imaging test. This can be very difficult for children in a lot of pain. Coercion and support from parents is usually enough to achieve this, however, in some extreme cases (such as MRI and CT), it may be necessary to sedate the child.


Some equipment adapted for use in paediatric radiololgy includes:

  • Artificial Windows / light panels
  • Positioning equipment such as sponges, weights.

Most equipment is the same used for adult imaging, but using lower dose and exposure setting adapted for children.

Paediatric Radiology

In many countries, paediatric radiology doesn't officially require a specific training. Where there is, paediatric radiologists have usually completed a radiology residency, then complete two more years of subspecialty fellowship training before they are eligible to take the board examination for official subspecialty certification (e.g. UK, Switzerland). This then qulaifies them in the specialised area of Paediatric radiology.

Although some diseases seen in paediatrics are the same as that in adults, there are many conditions which are seen only in infants. The specialty has to take in account the dynamics of a growing body, from pre-term infants to large adolescents, where the organs follow growth patterns and phases. These require specialised imaging and treatment which is carried out in a Children's hospital, which has all the facilities necessary to treat children and their specific pathologies.

Common Paediatric Pathology Requiring Imaging

  • Wilms' tumour
  • Leukemia
  • Teratoma
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Meningitis
  • Infant respiratory distress syndrome
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Greenstick fractures

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paediatric_radiology". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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