Pediatric MRI: Let’s Talk about Safety

MRI Houston, TXOne of the aspects of being a parent is that we naturally want to shield our children from risks, whether they may be necessary or not. An example of what may feel like a necessary risk is a necessity for pediatric MRI, PET scan, CT, or even X-rays. If your child’s pediatrician has suggested any one of these screens, your first question may be whether or not it is safe.

The Pediatric MRI

MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, is a test much like an x-ray or CT scan. It is performed to obtain detailed information about a part of the body. MRIs are integral to the diagnosis and monitoring of a variety of conditions, such as soft tissue injury, cysts, tumors, and bleeding. To obtain necessary data, the patient is positioned between two panels of magnets and radio waves. As these energies create a strong magnetic field, the machine can capture the desired images.

What happens during an MRI is that the radio frequency pulses and hydrogen atoms within the body become aligned. There is no ionizing radiation involved in MRI scans, and no chemical changes occur in the body.

Benefit vs. Risk

An integral aspect of medical decision-making is the consideration of risk vs. benefit. Numerous studies demonstrate the overall safety of MRI in comparison to benefits gained. Even in the instance of needing contrast material, the substance used for MRI is less likely to cause the allergic reaction than other mediums.

At GO Imaging, Pediatric MRI may be performed in our open MRI machine. This alleviates some of the risks associated with this scan.

  • The openness of this machine is less restrictive, and therefore less frightening for children.
  • The proximity that is felt with the imaging technician can ease a child’s nerves.
  • Greater relaxation during scanning improve the chances of success on the first try.
  • During MRI scans, patients have a “call button” that enables them to communicate with staff as needed.
  • Children may be able to listen to calming music through approved headphones.
  • In some cases, children may be prescribed a mild sedative by their referring physician.

The staff at GO Imaging understands the stress parents may experience when a child needs specialized imaging. We are happy to speak with you before your appointment. Contact our Houston or Humble facility for assistance.

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