Radiology is the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses using equipment such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to make images of the inside of the body.

Why choose Seattle Children’s for radiology services?

  • We are specially trained to treat infants, children and teens

    We have the largest group of board-certified pediatric radiologists in the Northwest and perform and read more than 100,000 exams a year.

  • We provide the most advanced diagnostic services and treatments available

    We perform a complete range of diagnostic tests and imaging services. We also do minimally invasive procedures that use imaging techniques to reduce the number or size of incisions needed. Our facilities have state-of-the-art technologies, including digital imaging, to provide your child with the most advanced diagnostic services and treatments available.

  • We always keep your child’s safety and comfort level in mind

    We take great care to use the lowest amount of radiation possible to produce the best image. Your child's healthcare provider may suggest that your child receive medicine to put them to sleep during an exam. If so, your child's team will include one of Seattle Children's pediatric anesthesiologists, who are specially trained and have extensive experience in working with young patients.

    Our team knows how important the comfort of your child is during testing and treatment. We make sure you understand the reasons for your child's testing and treatment and try to make you and your child comfortable during all phases of your stay.

    Read more about radiation exposure in medical imaging (PDF) (Amharic) (Arabic) (Russian) (Simplified Chinese) (Spanish).

Services We Provide

We provide a full range of diagnostic tests, including:

CT Scans

  • Computed tomography (CT) scans

    A CT scan, sometimes called a CAT scan, uses X-rays and computers to take a series of detailed pictures. The pictures provide a multidimensional look at your child's body tissues and structure. CT Scan (PDF), CT Scan (Spanish) (PDF)

DEXA Bone Scans

  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone scans

    A DEXA scan is a special type of X-ray. It is used to study your child's risk for breaking bones (fractures) by measuring the density of the bones in the entire body, focusing especially on the spine and hips. DEXA scans are more sensitive than ordinary X-rays, so they can help diagnose low bone density or bone loss at an earlier stage. Read more. (PDF)

Diagnostic and Fluoroscopy

  • Barium enema

    A barium enema uses a kind of X-ray (fluoroscopy) and a barium contrast agent to help doctors evaluate your child's colon. The colon is also known as the large bowel or large intestine. The contrast agent, which is given to your child through the rectum, helps us see the colon on the X-ray. Your child may have the test for several reasons, most of which have to do with the ability to have a bowel movement. Read more. (PDF)

  • Upper gastrointestinal series (UGI)

    An upper GI (gastrointestinal) series is a test to look at your child’s esophagus, stomach and a portion of their small intestine. It is most often done to learn the sizes and shapes of the organs in the GI tract or to evaluate digestive disorders. Read more. (PDF)

  • Upper gastrointestinal series (UGI) with small bowel follow through

    An upper GI series with small bowel follow through looks at your child's esophagus, stomach, small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. The test is done using a kind of X-ray (fluoroscopy) and a barium contrast agent that your child swallows. The contrast agent helps us see these body parts on X-rays. The images can help doctors see if stomach contents are moving backward into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux). Read more. (PDF)

  • Voiding cysto urethrogram (VCUG)

    A VCUG uses a kind of X-ray (fluoroscopy) and a dye (contrast agent) to help doctors examine the urethra, bladder and ureters. The X-ray pictures taken during a VCUG show your child's bladder capacity, ability to hold and empty urine, and whether the urine moves backward toward the kidneys during urination (reflux). Voiding Cysto Urethrogram (VCUG)(PDF), Spanish (PDF)

  • X-rays

    An X-ray is a form of energy that can pass through your child's bone and tissue to create an image. A doctor called a radiologist looks at the images to find and diagnose conditions in the body. Read more. (PDF)


Nuclear Medicine

  • Bone scan

    A bone scan is a test to look at your child's entire skeleton. It is used to diagnose causes of bone pain due to trauma, disease or other reasons. This exam requires an injection of a tracer (radiopharmaceutical) into a vein in your child's arm, hand or foot. Read more. (PDF)

  • Gastric emptying study

    A gastric emptying exam is a test that measures how fast your child's stomach digests food. We also study esophageal reflux in your child during this exam. Esophageal reflux is when acid from your child's stomach moves backwards into their esophagus. Read more (PDF) (Spanish).

  • I-123 MIBG

    An I-123 MIBG scan is a test that identifies and shows where certain types of cancer are. It is often used to identify a kind of cancer called neuroblastoma. (Spanish)Read more. (PDF)

  • Lasix renal scan

    A Lasix renal scan is a test that shows how well your child's kidneys are working and if there is anything blocking the kidneys, ureters and bladder (urinary system). Read more. (PDF)

  • Lung scan

    A lung scan is a test most often used to find a blood clot that is blocking normal blood flow to part of a lung (pulmonary embolism). Other common reasons for a lung scan are evaluating hypoplastic lung disease and CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia). Lung scans are also done to see how well the lungs are working. Read more. (PDF)

  • Nuclear voiding cystogram

    A nuclear voiding cystogram is a test that shows the bladder and ureters and how they work. We will put a small amount of liquid tracer (radiopharmaceutical) into your child's bladder through a soft tube called a catheter. After the tracer is in your child's bladder, we take special pictures. Read more. (PDF)

PET Scan

  • Positron emission tomography/computed tomography scan (PET/CT scan)

    A PET/CT scanner is a special device that combines two different imaging machines. PET is very useful for viewing abnormalities in cells. CT is especially good at viewing the structure of the body. By combining images from PET and CT scans, doctors can see where abnormal cells are located. Doctors often use PET/CT scans to detect cancer and find out how far it has advanced. The scans are also often used to find diseases of the brain and heart. Read more. (PDF)


  • Ultrasound (sonography)

    Sonography uses sound waves to make pictures of your child's body. We place the ultrasound "camera" (transducer) on your child's skin. The transducer sends sound waves that bounce off the organs in your child's body and back to the transducer to create a picture on a screen. Ultrasound is especially good for showing soft tissue, such as the organs inside the belly (kidneys, bladder, liver, gallbladder, spleen and pancreas) and in the pelvic area (uterus and ovaries). Read more. (PDF)

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