Revolutionary imaging technique for pediatric spine patients

Revolutionary imaging technique for pediatric spine patients

For the first time, pediatric spinal patients in upstate New York have access to new imaging technology that dramatically decreases their radiation exposure while producing more precise images with better information for orthopaedic specialists. The EOS® machine is especially useful for pediatric patients with scoliosis or long-bone issues and have to undergo multiple scans over their lifetime.

With a growing number of pediatric spinal patients traveling to Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center for the highly specialized care of pediatric , the Department of Imaging Sciences and the Department of Orthopaedics saw the need for the precision of the EOS machine. The machine is not available anywhere else in upstate New York. Among its many attributes, it:

  • Reduces radiation exposure by at least 1/3 in each scan, exponentially reducing exposure for patients requiring repeat scans over a lifetime
  • Produces images that are actual size without any distortion
  • Produces a scan from the front and side at the exact same time, so the images are completely matched and can be used to create three-dimensional reconstructions
  • Scans are immediately available for physician interpretation, cutting down on wait-time for patients

Johan G. (Hans) Blickman, M.D., Ph.D., Radiologist-in-Chief of Golisano Childrens Hospital, said another benefit of the machine is the ease with which children and adolescents can get in and out of the machine, even if using a wheelchair. They are able to stand or sit in the exact same position as previous scans, allowing radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons to more precisely compare growth and changes over time. The machine scans without magnification, so there is no distortion or educated guessing of measurements.

"The spine shown is the spine as it really is because there is virtually no magnification," Blickman said.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

James O. Sanders, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics, said the machine has helped him in better visualizing some of the spinal defects in his patients.

"A lot of our deformities are very complex and this allows us to do some assessments of the complex deformities. It gives us very accurate measurements," Sanders said.

Having the EOS® machine is another feather in the cap of an incredibly successful pediatric orthopaedic team. The program has been ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report for five years running, and it added a new pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with expertise in complex hip issues in infants, children and adolescents. In recent years, inpatient services have been further enhanced by a dedicated team of specially trained nurses who work with pediatric orthopaedic patients and understand their specific needs. The Pediatric Orthopaedic outpatient clinic has moved to a dedicated, child- and family-focused space within Building D at Clinton Crossings and the team also sees patients South Pointe Landing in Greece.

The addition of the EOS® machine is one of many steps the Department of Imaging Sciences has taken to reduce radiation exposure while capturing what can be life-saving images. URMC and its affiliates are not only ACR-accredited, but also adhere to two fundamental safety principles: first, that no imaging exam should be performed unless there is a clear medical benefit that outweighs any associated risks, and second, that radiation dosing for every scan is "as low as reasonably achievable" while still providing a useful picture (commonly referred to as the ALARA principle). Software updates on CT scanners have reduced exposure for all patients and special protocols are in place for young children, whose still-developing organs are more susceptible. Future plans for imaging improvements in pediatric care include a PET/MRI machine in the new Golisano Children's Hospital currently under construction. That machine also aims to reduce while adding to URMC's imaging capabilities.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

5 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

6 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments