Decreasing Radiation Risks by Increasing Use of Ultrasound in Pediatric Imaging

Joseph J. Junewick, MD

The author was presenting a sonogram (Fig. 1) at a multidisciplinary conference and he paused for questions. The pediatric surgeon said, ‘‘I understand what I am seeing.’’ The author was puzzled by the lack of sarcasm but the surgeon was quick to elaborate, ‘‘I see the anatomy; I know what to do.’’

Ultrasonography has advanced to a new level. It is not just a screening tool or the gateway to computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Transducer technology with new piezoelectric crystal design and higher frequencies has increased spatial resolution. Three-dimensional (3D) techniques including tomographic imaging, surface rendering, and volume assessment have increased accuracy and improved understanding of complex anatomy. Ultrasound images can be fused with digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) data sets,
allowing CT and MRI to guide ultrasound imaging with navigation technology. Indeed, it is an exciting time for ultrasonography.

However, ultrasonography needs to [Read more…]