Children's Hospital Colorado
Radiology

Radiology

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.

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The Radiology Department at Children's Hospital Colorado is recognized for their expertise in imaging and evaluating a broad spectrum of childhood diseases and conditions using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment with special pediatric features. The radiology team at Children's Colorado consists of board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric radiologists.

Our radiology team works with kids and only kids, every day across the state of Colorado. We use equipment designed for children, making tests more comfortable for kids, exposing them to as little radiation as necessary and producing more accurate information.

Our specialists are comfortable working with kids and making them feel safe in the test environment. When necessary, conscious sedation is substituted for general anesthesia depending on patient age and type of procedure. We are strong supporters of the national Image Gently campaign to reduce radiation exposure in children.

Radiology services we offer

Imaging services are performed for all childhood diseases or conditions, including:

Imaging technologies provided at Children's Colorado

An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of structures inside your body. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white, which makes X-rays great for looking at fractures or pneumonia. At Children's Colorado, we use X-ray machines with the least amount of radiation possible for your child. We also adhere to Image Gently guidelines to reduce radiation exposure in childhood.

Here are some of the things we do to keep your child's X-ray imaging as safe as possible:

  • We adjust the X-ray settings to your child's size to limit exposure
  • We ensure the indications for X-rays are appropriate
  • We X-ray only the indicated area and avoid exposure to other areas of the child's body
  • We complete annual inspections and certifications from the State of Colorado's authorized inspectors to ensure proper equipment maintenance

Ultrasound (also called sonography) uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. An ultrasound is painless and radiation-free, which makes it ideal for pediatric imaging. Most ultrasound exams take less than 30 minutes and the exams take place in a darkened room. The ultrasound technologist will place warm lotion on the skin over the area to be imaged, which helps the soundwaves pass through the skin. Parents usually are present throughout the examination.

Ultrasound images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Appendicitis
  • Vascular malformations
  • Infections
  • Sports injuries

Occasionally, ultrasounds are performed with an IV contrast agent to help visualize structures that may be otherwise difficult to see. All ultrasounds are performed by technologists specifically trained in pediatrics.

A fluoroscopy uses pulses of X-rays to intermittently look at structures that are moving and changing. This is most commonly used to image the gastrointestinal (GI) system using a contrast solution (like barium, which is usually swallowed) to visualize how the contrast moves through a child's digestive system. Fluoroscopy may be used to guide a medical intervention or look at the placement of an implant in the operating room, or to evaluate the bladder and other structures in the body.

Limiting exposure to radiation is our top priority, which is why all of our fluoroscopy equipment is specifically adapted for pediatric use and designed to use the least amount of radiation possible. American board-certified pediatric radiology physicians and technologists perform these procedures and are experts guiding children through this examination. Additionally, we have child life specialists and television screens in our fluoroscopy suites so your child can undergo their examination in a comfortable, friendly environment.

Here at Children's Colorado, we use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines to see many different parts of the body, from the pinky toe to the brain. MRI machines do not emit radiation, which makes them ideal for pediatric imaging.

The happiness and comfort of our pediatric patients is important to us, and we do what we can to make these examinations as comfortable as possible without anesthesia or sedation. To make this possible, we have:

  • An ambient MRI suite complete with welcoming colors and animated projections (available on Anschutz Medical Campus and South Campus)
  • An audiovisual DVD system that allows our patients to watch a movie during their exam (available North Campus and in Colorado Springs)
  • Child life specialists who help prepare the children beforehand with toys and other aids
  • A two-way audio and TV communication system so your child can communicate throughout the exam
  • Pediatric nurses and technologists who will guide your child through every aspect of the exam

Depending on the area being imaged, MRI exams can take 30 mins to 1 hour. Some exams require a gadolinium-based contrast agent administered through an IV. If this is necessary, all IVs are placed by pediatric nurses or technologists experienced in making this as stress-free as possible. In some cases, patients may require sedation, which is administered by a pediatric anesthesiologist. All MRIs are performed and interpreted by certified pediatric imaging professionals.

Here, we are also experts in some of the most subspecialized and novel MRI exams in the world. These include:

A CT scan, or CAT scan, enables specialists at Children's Colorado to use X-rays to see inside a patient's body. We use state-of-the-art CT machines that offer imaging in seconds — with ultra-low radiation. CT imaging is used for a variety of conditions, from complex congenital heart disease to acute traumatic injury. Contrast agents, administered through an IV, may be used depending on why your child needs the scan. If needed, your child's IV will be placed by our experienced pediatric radiology nurses or technologists. Because they are so fast, CT exams can usually be performed without sedation. To keep our pediatric patients comfortable, we create child-friendly environments in our CT rooms, with colorful images on the walls and machines.

Radiation and CT scans

At Children's Colorado, we support the national Image Gently campaign and its recommended practices. The goal of Image Gently is to create awareness of the effects of radiation on children. Much of the emphasis has been placed on the safe use of CT scanning in pediatric imaging.

While CT scanning is a very valuable diagnostic tool, it is the largest contributor to medical radiation exposure in the U.S population. Radiation exposure is a concern in both adults and children. However, there are unique considerations in children:

  • Children are more sensitive to radiation than adults
  • Children have a longer life expectancy than adults, resulting in a larger window of opportunity for radiation exposure
  • Children receive a higher dose than necessary when adult CT settings are used for imaging

At Children's Colorado, we use pediatric-specific CT setting, which ensure the lowest possible radiation doses. To follow Image Gently guidelines and keep our patients safe and healthy, we:

  • Adjust the exposure factors for children before each visit
  • Scan only the indicated area and avoid exposure to other areas of the child's body
  • Avoid multi-phase imaging
  • Complete annual inspections and certifications by the State of Colorado's authorized inspectors to ensure proper equipment maintenance
  • Work with radiology technologists who are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and have an advanced certification in CT
  • Work with board-certified radiologists with specific fellowship training in pediatric radiology

You need us to provide diagnostic imaging services for your child, and we are promising to image them gently. That's why pediatric radiology matters.

Select Children's Colorado locations also offer nuclear imaging, or single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). Nuclear imaging creates a 3D, high-resolution, whole-body image that provides physicians with improved opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as tumor localization, growth or reduction in size.

Interventional radiology (IR) combines fluoroscopy, ultrasound and computed tomography to guide catheters, needles and other devices inside the body through tiny incisions in the skin. IR procedures are precise and minimally invasive and, for many conditions, have replaced open surgery. Interventional radiology also offers fewer complications and can reduce the amount of time your child will spend in the hospital.

At select Children's Colorado locations, we have specialized angiography machines that use small pediatric doses of fluoroscopy to see the tiniest blood vessels from head to toe. The CT scanners and ultrasound probes are designed and programmed to guide needles in patients of all sizes, from premature infants to adult-sized adolescents.

Our pediatric interventional radiologists are all board-certified and have additional training and experience in the performance of IR procedures. Our interventional teams also include American Registry of Radiologic Technologists-certified technologists, pediatric nurses, child life specialists and pediatric anesthesiologists.

Our IR rooms are also stocked with child-sized catheters, needles, and devices. We use pediatric dosing for all medications, based on each patient's individual weight and size. This combination of imaging machines, trained personnel and equipment allows us to perform a number of procedures, including:

  • Biopsy of tumors
  • Insertion of catheters for infusions
  • Direct embolization or ablation of tumors (removal)
  • Sclerotherapy and embolization for vascular conditions (spider vein treatment, vein removal)
  • Gastrostomy and gastrojejunostomy (to allow for feeding tubes)
  • Percutaneous cecostomy (for chronic constipation)
  • Abscess drainage
  • Thoracentesis (removal of fluid from the cavity lining the lungs)
  • Paracentesis (removal of fluid from a cyst or other growth)
  • Nephrostomy (a procedure to drain blocked urine in the kidneys)
  • Ureteral stenting (tubes that help keep urine flowing)
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (imaging of the biliary tract)
  • Biliary stenting (a procedure to keep bile moving through the bile ducts)
  • Thrombolysis (removal of clots)
  • Balloon angioplasty and stenting (widening arteries and vessels that are blocked or underdeveloped)
  • Arthrography (imaging of the joints)
  • Steroid injection

PET, or positron emission technology, is combined with CT, or computed tomography, in one machine that creates 3D images of a specific area of the body. These detailed PET images provide physicians with more information about specific conditions, including pediatric cancers and neurological problems.

 

Radiology locations and hours

Children's Hospital Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus
720-777-1234
13123 East 16th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045
X-ray: 24/7
Ultrasound: 24/7
Fluoroscopy: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
MRI: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
CT: 24/7
Nuclear medicine: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Interventional radiology: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Children's Hospital Colorado, South Campus
720-478-1234
1811 Plaza Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
X-ray: 24/7
Ultrasound: Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Fluoroscopy: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
MRI: Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
CT: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Children's Hospital Colorado, North Campus
720-777-1340
469 State Highway 7, Broomfield, CO 80023
X-ray: 24/7
Ultrasound: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
MRI: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
CT: Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; available on-call 24/7
Holidays: Ultrasound and MRI not available

Outpatient Care, Parker
720-777-1300
9399 Crown Crest Boulevard, Suite 300, Parker, CO 80138
X-ray: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Ultrasound: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outpatient and Urgent Care, Uptown Denver
720-777-1360
1830 Franklin Street, Suite 150, Denver, CO 80218
X-ray: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 8:45 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ultrasound: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outpatient and Urgent Care, Wheat Ridge
720-777-1370
3455 Lutheran Parkway, Suite 230, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
X-ray: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 8:45 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Orthopedic Care, Centennial
720-777-1310
9094 E Mineral Avenue, Suite 110, Centennial, CO 80112
X-ray: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Outpatient Care, Briargate
719-305-9000 or 719-305-5437
4125 Briargate Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
X-ray: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: noon – midnight
Ultrasound: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fluoroscopy: Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
MRI: Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs
719-305-7032
4090 Briargate Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Ultrasound: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; available on-call after-hours
Fluoroscopy: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MRI: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; available on-call after-hours
Diagnostic imaging and CT: 24/7

Download a PDF of all hours and availability for radiology at our locations.

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