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Diagnostic Tests & Procedures

We view each organ system within your child’s body as a special and unique system. Some of the advanced techniques we use to understand these systems are listed and described here.

  • Angiography:
    A procedure in which dye is injected into the patient prior to x-ray to produce a picture, also called an angiogram. Using this picture, the physician can see obstructions within the arteries.
  • Computed Tomography (CT or CAT scan):
    Technology that involves moving x-ray beams across different areas of the body, resulting in multiple views of the same organ or tissue. The physician sees the resulting image on a monitor. CT scans are commonly used with infants and older children and can detect numerous abnormalities and diseases inside the body.
  • Fluoroscopy:
    An x-ray technique that allows the physician to see “live” images inside a patient. Often used to observe the digestive tract, fluoroscopy is common in many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
  • Interventional Radiology:
    A procedure that uses imaging technology to diagnose and treat a number of disorders. The process involves needle-placement, followed by possibly a wire or a catheter, into an organ or hollow cavity to perform biopsies, treat tumors, drain fluids, and open narrowed arteries or vessels.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
    A noninvasive method that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce highly detailed images of the body’s systems and organs. The physician uses MRI as a tool to see abnormalities in the central nervous system, brain, eyes, reproductive system, bladder, blood vessels, bones, and other areas within the body.
  • Musculoskeletal Imaging:
    Ultrasound technology that allows the physician to evaluate the body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues. The process is effective in revealing problems in a patient’s joints and tendons as the examiner is able to see these systems in “real time” on a monitor.
  • Nuclear Medicine:
    A subspecialty within radiology that uses a radioactive substance to create images of organs and other body systems and to show their function. The images produced allow the physician to diagnose problems in the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, urinary tract, and other organs.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET):
    An imaging technique used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and many other diseases. The physician is able to investigate the cellular function of the body to determine the extent of disease and make an accurate diagnosis as well as monitor the progress of treatment.
  • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT):
    A nuclear imaging test that uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to take 3-D pictures of the inside of your body to show how your internal organs are working. For example, a SPECT scan can show how blood is flowing to your heart or which areas of your brain are more or less active.
  • Ultrasound (Sonography):
    The use of high-frequency sound waves to obtain images from inside the body. This technology is used frequently to evaluate abdominal pain and other conditions in children. The echo of the waves is displayed on a monitor and shows the flow of blood and the movement of internal tissues and organs, allowing accurate diagnosis of a variety of conditions.