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Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology

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MRI Provider with Patients

Common Questions for Imaging and Radiology

Scheduling an exam for your child? Here are some common questions (and answers) we hear from parents.

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The Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology has a team of expert physicians, board-certified pediatric radiologists, technologists, pediatric anesthesiologists, and nurses, specially trained to provide pediatric radiology services for infants, children, and adolescents. Services are offered at the main hospital location as well as the Outpatient Imaging Center at the Montgomery County Regional Outpatient Center.

Division Services

We provide the highest level of care is the safest possible environment for your child. Though radiology exams for adults and children generally share the same name, pediatric patients require a different approach.

Our patient and family-centered facility has the most advanced radiology equipment in an environment designed for children, and our pediatric radiologists use the lowest radiation dose possible to obtain excellent image quality.

Our equipment is state-of-the-art and includes a wide bore 3 Tesla MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner with a larger opening to help make patients more comfortable.

Children’s National also has the gold standard for functional brain imaging. The technology allows for faster scans while still generating high quality, detailed images, particularly valuable for our small patients.

Our imaging and radiology services include:

  • CT Scan (computerized tomography)
  • Cardiac imaging
  • DEXA-scan (bone scan)
  • Diagnostic X-rays
  • Fetal MRI and ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy
  • MRI
  • Neuroimaging
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Orthopaedic imaging
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography)
  • PET/ CT scan
  • Rheumatology imaging
  • Ultrasound 

Our Specialists

Children's National Imaging offers a specialized staff, full-time Child Life Specialist, Spanish-speaking receptionist, state-of-the-art equipment, walk-in X-rays, and adventure-themed rooms. When a procedure, such as a MRI, requires sedation, Children’s National is the only hospital in the Washington, DC, area that guarantees your child’s anesthesia is administered by a fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist at any time of the day or night – 24/7. Pediatric anesthesiologists are physicians who complete specialized fellowship training in pediatric anesthesia, training beyond the regular course of instruction for an anesthesiologist.

Children’s National also has one of the few radiology programs in the United States with physicists on staff. Our physicists confirm patient safety through careful monitoring of all equipment. A physicist supervises radiation safety on all X-ray machines, and answers parents’ questions about the radiation dose for an exam. Another physicist is solely dedicated to MRI, ensuring safe and effective application of the MRI technique.

Other members of the division’s highly skilled team include:

  • Pediatric physicians board-certified by the American Board of Radiology with additional qualifications in surgical (interventional), fetal, cardiac, and neurological radiology
  • Nurses trained to care for the unique health needs of younger radiology patients
  • Technologists who know how to reduce a child’s anxiety while they perform a procedure
  • Administrative staff who ensure test results are provided quickly to your child’s physician

Nuclear Medicine Program

Children’s National has a long history of providing subspecialty care in nuclear medicine, with one of the largest volumes of pediatric nuclear medicine procedures in the country.

Children’s nuclear medicine team is composed of world-renowned leaders in nuclear medicine. Our radiologists are Eglal Shalaby-Rana, MD, and Pranav Vyas, MD, who combined offer more than 30 years of experience.

How Nuclear Medicine is Helpful

Nuclear medicine is sometimes a better test in the diagnoses and treatment of certain conditions compared to other imaging techniques. However, nuclear medicine scans are usually performed in combination with other imaging tests and procedures, such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

In nuclear medicine, nuclear radiologists place an energy source (a radioactive substance) inside the body, usually through an IV injection. All radioactive substances emit energy, such as gamma rays or gamma radiation. Using special cameras, Children’s technologists can take a picture of the gamma rays to see how the body absorbs, reflects, and scatters the energy inside the body.

The program offers specially designed pediatric equipment as well as nuclear medicine technologists with the expertise to safely care for smaller, younger patients. Our dedicated team obtains high-quality images using the minimum amount of radiation and sedation.

The people and personal attention are what make Children’s National unique. Nuclear medicine is non-invasive and painless, but we still make sure you and your child are assured through every stage of a procedure. You can even stay with your child during the scan. 

ACR Gold Seal of Accreditation

David Wessel, MD, Senior Vice President of the Center for Hospital-Based Specialties, is pleased to announce that the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Commission on Quality and Safety has granted accreditation to the following diagnostic imaging programs:

  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Computed Tomography
  • Nuclear Medicine 

Attaining the ACR Gold Seal of Accreditation is an arduous process that involves submission of physician and staff credentials, safety policies, detailed quality assurance records for each scanner, radiation dose calibrations for the ionizing radiation-producing scanners, and multiple samples of actual clinical images from each scanner. All data and images submitted are analyzed by a group of expert radiologists and medical imaging physicists who determine if the site meets the highest standards of quality and safety.

Our Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology (Sheik Zayed campus location) achieved this high honor and is now ACR Accredited for a three-year term.

Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology Team