Pediatric Imaging and Diagnostic Techniques|Loyola Medicine

Pediatric Imaging

Advanced Imaging and Diagnostic Techniques for Infants, Children and Adolescents

Loyola Medicine offers state-of-the-art pediatric imaging and diagnostic techniques for the care of infants, children and adolescents. Our pediatric radiologists are recognized nationally and internationally for clinical excellence, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods and skilled use of the latest technology. Loyola’s pediatric patients have access to a wide range of imaging services, including X-ray, CT scan (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound and nuclear imaging. 

At Loyola, we focus on choosing the most accurate imaging for your child’s condition, while delivering the lowest dosage of radiation possible. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound and nuclear imaging studies, which use no radiation, will always be considered first. Our experienced technologists provide testing in a caring and compassionate environment where we put your child at ease. We want you to feel comfortable asking any questions you may have about your child’s test or procedure. 

Why Choose Loyola for Pediatric Imaging?

As an academic medical center, Loyola provides compassionate, comprehensive care to infants, children and adolescents and trains future leaders in advanced pediatric imaging technology. Loyola takes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and provides support services for patients and families. Your child’s entire Loyola healthcare team has one goal: restoring your child to better health.

Loyola takes a team approach to pediatric imaging. In order to provide the most precise and accurate imaging studies and diagnosis, Loyola’s pediatric radiologists work with specialists in general pediatrics, pediatric orthopaedics, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric neurology and pediatric cardiovascular medicine

Electronic images are available to your child’s doctors instantly through an electronic medical record system, allowing us to deliver timely, effective care to our pediatric patients. At Loyola, we understand the importance of continuity of care and will provide seamless communication with your child’s doctor through our secure medical information portal, LoyolaConnect. You can also access results from your child’s lab tests and evaluations through myLoyola.

Comprehensive Imaging Tests for Children

Loyola’s expert pediatric imaging team knows that when your child is experiencing unusual, concerning symptoms, you want an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible. We offer non-invasive, radiation-free imaging studies whenever possible; and when tests using radiation are required, your child’s healthcare team will use the lowest dose of radiation possible. 

Loyola’s dedicated team will deliver the highest quality of care for your child— from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. We offer advanced pediatric imaging technology, including:

  • CT scan (computed tomography) — A CT scan is a fast and reliable tool for the evaluation of injury and illness in children. CT technology combines a series of cross-sectional X-rays to allow your child’s doctor to see bones, blood vessels and soft tissues, diagnose disease or injury and create an effective treatment plan. Learn about CT scans.
  • Extremity MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) — An extremity MRI exam is used to diagnose soft tissue and bone injuries or problems of the arms or legs. For children who may not like the enclosed environment of a traditional MRI scanner, extremity MRI may be offered for imaging of the arms and legs. Learn about extremity MRI.
  • Fluoroscopy — Fluoroscopy uses continuous X-ray technology to produce video images of your child’s skeletal, urinary, digestive or respiratory system. 
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) — This technique uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed images of your child’s organs, tissues and skeletal system. MRI does not use radiation. MRI is useful in monitoring children with Crohn’s disease and some childhood cancers including liver and kidney cancers. MRI is also helpful in detecting cardiovascular abnormalities in children. Learn about MRIs.
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography) — Loyola offers one of the world’s most sophisticated PET scanners for detecting cancer, heart disease and neurological problems. This nuclear imaging study is used to show how the organs are functioning through the use of a tracer that highlights abnormalities or disease. Several PET scans may be taken over time to monitor how well your child is responding to treatment for cancer or another illness. 
  • Ultrasound — Using high-frequency sound waves, your child’s Loyola technologist can produce moving images of organs, bones and soft tissues. Ultrasound does not use radiation. CT and MRI require a patient to be still, which can be difficult for children; ultrasound technology can capture clear images even when the patient is moving. Learn about ultrasounds.
  • X-ray — This technology is efficient and painless in providing images of your child’s bone structures and tissues, which can be used to detect bone fractures, cardiovascular conditions, cancer and pneumonia. A contrast medium may be used to show greater detail. Learn about X-rays.

Comprehensive Pediatric Imaging Services for Children

At Loyola, we are devoted to providing a full spectrum of pediatric imaging for your infant, child or adolescent. We use the most advanced methods to diagnose and treat illnesses including childhood cancers, arrhythmias and other cardiovascular conditions, orthopaedic conditions and sports injuries. Your child’s pediatrician will collaborate with Loyola specialists and pediatric subspecialists to build an individualized plan of care.

We offer multidisciplinary facilities at the Loyola University Medical Center campus, in addition to outpatient services at other locations. We offer the following specialized services to provide your child with the most comprehensive care:

  • 3D imaging — Our 3D imaging lab reconstructs CT scan (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) images into three-dimensional models that can show the relationship between blood vessels, bones and muscles. Learn more about 3D imaging.
  • Cardiac imaging — Loyola’s expertise in high-resolution imaging, including cardiac MRI and cardiac CT, allows our world-class team of imaging specialists to see details and detect complications that might otherwise go undiagnosed. We provide imaging and consultation for the most severe cardiac cases, including complex arrhythmias and other heart conditions. Learn more about cardiac imaging.
  • Interventional neuroradiology — Loyola’s skilled interventional radiologists provide high-tech, minimally invasive treatment for neurological problems—such as brain aneurysms, blood clots and tumors—which can prevent the need for surgery.
  • Interventional radiology — Using imaging technology and very small instruments, radiologists treat a variety of disorders without surgery. Learn more about interventional radiology.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center — Our MRI technologists provide unique diagnostic information useful in the evaluation of diseases of the central nervous system, the heart and mediastinum, abdomen, pelvis and musculoskeletal system.
  • Nuclear cardiac imaging — Loyola provides a wide spectrum of non-invasive nuclear imaging studies for the detection of diseases and conditions of the heart. This technology uses no radiation, but rather a radioactive substance injected into the body which appears on images of your child’s body highlighting areas of disease, tumors and other abnormalities. Learn more about nuclear cardiology.
  • Nuclear medicine and molecular imaging — Molecular imaging procedures—which are non-invasive, safe and painless—are used to diagnose and manage the treatment of cancer, heart disease, brain disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, lung disorders, bone disorders, kidney disorders, thyroid disorders and more. Learn more about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.
  • Vascular imaging — Loyola’s skilled vascular imaging team offers many non-invasive diagnostic techniques for evaluating the movement of blood and the health of the blood vessels. We provide imaging and consultation for the most severe vascular cases, including peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and renal artery stenosis. Learn more about vascular imaging.

Ongoing Research to Improve Pediatric Imaging

As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future pediatric imaging treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Our current studies include:

Several of our faculty also serve on the boards of leading scientific journals. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.