What age is it possible to do x-rays to kids?


Today it is difficult to imagine modern medicine without x-ray imaging. Any hospital has in its Arsenal, the x-ray machine, experienced radiologists. Both adults and children a variety of pathologies detected using images of a particular anatomical area. However, harmful ionizing radiation may have a negative impact on the human body. So for children, there are certain limitations of the x-ray diagnosis.

Why are x-rays harmful to children?

Ionizing radiation may have mutagenic or carcinogenic effects on the tissues and cells of the body. Moreover, the child’s sensitivity to such external factors is much higher.

The most frequent situations when you can make x-ray images are:

  • Diseases of the bronchi and lungs.
  • Dysplasia of the hip joints.
  • Traumatic injuries of the skull, limbs and spine.
  • Dental pathology.
  • Foreign bodies of the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract.

A chest x-ray

Such a study can be done in inflammatory diseases of the lungs and bronchial: pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, pleurisy. X-rays performed if it is impossible to diagnose the pathology using other techniques (auscultation, percussion, clinical and laboratory data). Rarer indications include chest injuries, heart defects, anomalies of development.

A chest x-ray can be done to children of any age when there is clear evidence.

Radiography of the hip joints

Such examinations may be required of very young children older than 4-5 months. The most frequent indications – hip dysplasia. In this case, an alternative is ultrasonography, and radiography, however, has not lost its relevance.

X-rays of the hip joints allows a more clear idea of what anatomical structures involvement in the pathological process. This is especially necessary in advanced stages of dysplasia, or prior to surgical treatment.

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X-rays in trauma

If a child is injured and has a suspected fracture, without radiographic examination is not necessary. With the help of x-rays clarify the nature of the fracture, degree of displacement of bone fragments. This is important for further reduction bones, operative treatment of.

Valuable information is provided by an x-ray of the skull in head injuries. It is possible to identify fractures of the skull, including dented, cracked, damaged facial skeleton. In severe injuries, make a computer tomography of the brain, which has a more significant radiation load on the organism, but the risk of intracranial hematoma in this situation is much higher than the possible exposure. In children under one year the alternative is neurosonographic study.

X-rays in dentistry

As a rule, dentists try to manage without radiography in the treatment of children’s teeth. For example, x-rays do not make for the diagnosis of caries, or the degree of filling of root canals. Indications for dental x-rays is strictly limited: a suspected periostitis, osteomalacia, abscess formation. Most dental clinics use radio sighting devices that have less radiation exposure for the child.

Foreign body

In this situation, the x-ray is mandatory method of research, it is done on an emergency basis, regardless of the age of the child. Depending on the anticipated localization of a foreign body, make the examination of the bronchi and lungs, or the gastrointestinal tract.

Rarer indications include diseases of the genitourinary system, suspected abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system. Older children can do x-rays of the sinuses, spine in the presence of scoliotic curvature, and more.

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The introduction of modern high-tech techniques, for example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to diagnose a complex pathology without exposure to ionizing radiation. However, the high cost of such surveys, as well as difficulties during the procedure in children under 3 years, restrict the use of MRI, and tied for first place routine x-rays.