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Hello, I’m Dr. Cynthia Rigsby, a pediatric radiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I’d like to talk with you about pediatric computed tomography or C-T scanning, also known as CAT scan.
C-T scanning uses x-ray equipment and a computer to create detailed images of internal organs, bones, tissues and blood vessels. In children, C-T can be used to help diagnose the cause of abdominal pain or to evaluate trauma-related injury as well as diagnose, stage and treat cancer. It’s also commonly used to evaluate diseases and conditions of the chest.
If your child is scheduled for a C-T scan, there are several things you can do to prepare.
First, tell the pediatrician and the radiologist about your child’s recent illnesses, medications and allergies, especially to contrast materials. Your child should wear loose, comfortable clothing and may be asked to wear a gown.
Ask the doctor if sedation will be needed to help your child remain still during the exam, and discuss whether your child should not eat, drink liquids or take medication beforehand. Children who have recently been ill will usually not be sedated. If your child has been or is becoming ill and sedation is planned, talk to your doctor about rescheduling the exam.
You may have some concerns about C-T scanning. However, it’s important to consider the likelihood of benefit to your child’s health. While C-T does use radiation, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs any risk.
For more information about pediatric C-T, visit Radiology Info dot org.
Thank you for your time!