Medical Imaging (Radiology)
Lurie Children’s Department of Medical Imaging provides care that spans across all hospital divisions by providing services like medical imaging tests and interventional radiology. We perform more than 115,000 procedures a year, helping our specialists care for their patients with the best imaging procedures possible.
Children come from around the world for our nationally recognized Cardiac Imaging Program. Our large Interventional Radiology Program is also well regarded, especially for procedures to treat liver transplant complications.
Our high-tech digital imaging equipment gives children the least amount of radiation exposure as part of our commitment to the Image Gently campaign. Unlike most radiology departments, Lurie Children’s has two full-time medical physicists, who monitor radiation dose and equipment to ensure that patients receive safe doses. We also have the capabilities to safely use sedation to image children who could not otherwise have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or other tests.
Our imaging programs, most of which are accredited by the American College of Radiology, offer the following imaging methods, or “modalities”:
Our entire staff is dedicated to evaluating and treating infants, children and teens. The pediatric team includes:
- Interventional radiologists (radiologists who perform minimally invasive treatments using imaging)
- Anesthesiologists and hospitalists
- Medical physicists
- Radiologic technologists
- Sonographers (ultrasound technicians)
- Sedation nurses
- Advanced practice nurses
- Child life specialists
We also work on multispecialty teams, through services like the Cardiac Imaging Program, to make sure each child’s treatment plan receives input from various experts. These extra voices in treatment meetings give children the most thorough care plans possible. Additionally, many of our radiologists specialize in an area of radiology, such as neuroradiology (radiology of neurologic conditions).
The head of the department, James S. Donaldson, MD, has more than 30 years of experience in radiology. Dr. Donaldson is the Earl J. Frederick Professor of Radiology at Lurie Children’s and Professor of Radiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is board certified in pediatric, diagnostic and vascular/interventional radiology.
When you step into any of our facilities, you enter a vibrant, kid-friendly atmosphere. Our spaces are designed to make families feel comfortable — from waiting room activities to adventure-themed exam rooms in the hospital.
After you’ve finished preparing your child for their medical imaging procedure, you are encouraged to stay and participate in the procedure to help reduce your child’s anxiety.
We feel passionately about minimizing the radiation exposure that children receive when undergoing imaging procedures, as children are more sensitive to radiation than adults. To help spread awareness and promote gentle imaging techniques, we’ve taken on a leadership role in the Image Gently campaign. Dr. Donaldson has also discussed the importance of minimizing radiation in children on WGN-TV's Medical Watch. In December 2013, our team earned the Siemens' Right Dose Excellence Award for our low radiation dose imaging technique. Learn more on our blog.
We have an active research program, including patient studies (clinical trials). Our other ongoing studies include:
- An experimental type of MRI in use at only a few U.S. medical centers, called 4D flow MRI, which uses three dimensions and time to look at blood flow in vessels, which is especially useful in congenital heart disease and vascular abnormalities.
- MRI measurement of brown fat, the calorie-burning fat in our bodies that may lower the risk of obesity, to assess development of childhood obesity.
- Use of a special type of MRI (multicompartment, diffusion weighted) to tell the difference between recurrence of a brain tumor and tissue damage that can occur from radiation therapy.
As the pediatric training site for the Feinberg School, we help educate medical imaging residents and fellows. Medical Imaging is also the training location for several local colleges with imaging programs.
Make an Appointment
We see patients at multiple locations. If you’d like to request an appointment, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) or 312.227.4500.
Private contributions have helped further our efforts to minimize our patients’ radiation exposure by funding new equipment. Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families.
Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.
Medical Imaging - Appointments
We see patients at multiple locations. If you’d like to request an appointment, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®) or 312.227.4500. You can also request an appointment online.
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Prepare for your medical imaging visit by reading about our team, the imaging process and other important information about your appointment.
Learn about our Culture of Care for information about your upcoming visit and the services Lurie Children’s offers, including:
• How to prepare for your visit to the hospital
• Our locations and parking options
• Lurie Children’s visitor-friendly features
• Financial resources
• Prescription services
• Family support services