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It gives the doctor information on the size, shape, and location of the heart, in order to help diagnose a condition. X-rays can also confirm the proper placement of important tubes, such as the breathing and feeding tubes, catheters or lines for intravenous fluids, and, less commonly, drainage tubes. Usually chest X-rays are taken with the body in an elongated position. Generally, a premature baby will be placed on a table and gently held, arms up, by the nurse. The X-ray machine is turned on for a fraction of a second.

Beams of X-rays pass through the chest to make a picture on the film. Usually an X-ray is taken from the front and then the side. The procedure is painless and the photographic results should be ready within minutes. Although chest X-rays are probably the most common type of X-rays for premature babies, the technology can be used on other parts of the body.

Interpretation of Neonatal Chest Radiography

For example, a baby with a suspected case of necrotizing enterocolitis, which is a problem with the intestines, may have an X-ray of the abdomen. Additionally, X-rays of the bones in general can detect a condition known as osteopenia of prematurity, historically known as rickets of prematurity. Osteopenia, or weakened bones, is sometimes seen in low birth weight babies with chronic lung disease. Bone X-rays can also identify congenital bone abnormalities and fractures. Ultrasound machines transmit high frequency sound pulses into the body using a probe.

The sound waves travel into the body and bounce back to a detector.

Pediatric Radiology

On a screen, the waves that are bounced back are assembled, giving a picture of how far away and how dense something is within the body. Ultrasound has many uses; most parents are familiar with fetal ultrasound. Most commonly for premature babies, a head ultrasound is used to detect possible problems within the brain and an abdominal ultrasound detects problems of the organs in the abdomen such as the kidney, liver, and intestines.

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a way of taking cross-sectional pictures of the head and body without the use of X-rays. A magnet, radio signals, and a computer are used to create the pictures. An MRI scan is fairly noisy but does not hurt. Ear plugs or some other form of ear protection is standard, even for babies. A number of short scans make up a complete MRI study. Each scan takes from one to 10 minutes. The total time for a complete MRI study is about one to two hours. A team of three or four people will do the MRI study.

A nurse will prepare your baby for the scans. The anaesthetist is the doctor who gives the general anesthetic. A radiologist will check and interpret each scan to make sure that the study is complete. A radiologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnostic images.

Some MRI scans give the doctor more information when they are done with a special liquid called a contrast medium. This clear, colourless fluid is put into a vein in the hand or arm with a small needle. The liquid is designed to reveal details that would not otherwise be seen and is quite safe. If the radiologist feels that the scan would be better with this liquid, it will be given part of the way through the exam.

As a parent, before you enter the room, you will be questioned or you may have to fill out a screening form. Staff need to make sure that it is safe for you to be near the strong magnet in the MRI scanner. You will have to empty your pockets completely of everything, including coins, keys, pens, wallets, and bank cards. You will also have to take off your watch. Depending on the hospital, you may or may not be allowed in the room during the procedure. A computerized tomography CT scan uses an X-ray and a computer to take cross-sectional pictures of your premature baby.

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These pictures allow doctors to see the structures inside the body at different levels. A CT scan can be done on any body part. A routine scan may take anywhere from five to 30 minutes, depending on the part of the body being scanned and how still the baby can remain during the scan.

Movement during the scan creates blurry pictures that cannot give the information needed. For details see the IMRT page. In time the lung tissue may become severely scarred. While some patients recover, others develop respiratory failure or heart failure. In an intraoperative cryotherapy procedure, tissue inside the body is treated by inserting a cryoprobe or a series of small needles through the skin and delivering liquid nitrogen or argon gas to the site of the diseased tissue.

For details see the Intravenous Pyelogram page.


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For information about diagnosis and treatment see the Therapeutic Enema for intussusception page. The human body requires small amounts of iodine for healthy growth and development. This element is present in many radiographic contrast materials. Exposure to the action of electromagnetic radiation e.

In former usage, the mass numbers follow the chemical symbol C Examination of the lining of the abdominal wall with a laparoscope. A mild cathartic; a remedy that moves the bowels slightly without pain or violent action.

In the uterus, commonly called a fibroid. A lesion may be benign noncancerous or malignant cancerous. Lifeport Manufacturer's name. See the Linear Accelerator page for more information. It secretes the bile and is also of great importance in both carbohydrate and protein metabolism. While the local area affected by the anesthetic becomes numb, the patient remains awake and responsive. A medication used to produce a temporary loss of sensation in a specific area of the body during a surgical or other medical procedure; It may be administered as an injection under the skin, applied as a topical cream or a patch to the surface of the skin.

The reference of a sensation to its point of origin. The determination of the location of a tumor, disease or other morbid process. Low dose rate LDR brachytherapy A radiation therapy treatment for cancer that involves the placement of a radioactive material directly inside the body, in or near a tumor, for a specific amount of time and then withdrawn. In LDR brachytherapy, the patient is treated with a low dose of radiation for hours at a time.

A minimally invasive diagnostic test that involves the removal of a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid —the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord—or an injection of medication or another substance into the lumbar or lower region of the spinal column. Lumpectomy generally refers to the removal of a lump from the breast as an alternative to mastectomy, which is the removal of the entire breast including the lump.

As a rule, the right lung is slightly larger than the left and is divided into three lobes an upper, a middle, and a lower , while the left has but two lobes an upper and a lower. Each lung is irregularly conical in shape, presenting a blunt upper extremity the apex , a concave base following the curve of the diaphragm, an outer convex surface following the inner curve of the ribs, an inner or mediastinal surface, a thin and sharp anterior border, and a thick and rounded posterior border.

This surgery is only used for those with severe emphysema. Lymph consists of a clear liquid portion, varying numbers of white blood cells chiefly lymphocytes , and a few red blood cells. This procedure has been replaced by lymphoscintigraphy. The two major subgroups of lymphocytes are: B cells that produce antibodies and T cells that destroy disease-causing pathogens. See the Lymphoscintigraphy page for more information.

For details see the MR Angiography page. See the MRCP page for additional information. Malignant is also less commonly used to describe other medical conditions that are severe and becoming progressively worse. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance may also be used to image the breast.

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For details see the Mammography page. A small amount of healthy tissue surrounding a tumor that may be surgically removed with diseased tissue. This space is mostly occupied by the heart and its major blood vessels, and by the trachea and esophagus.