Computed Tomography (CT or CAT Scan)
Who we are
Computed Tomography (CT) at Boston Children's Hospital helps doctors quickly answer urgent questions about your child's health. Typically in just a few seconds, a CT scan (CAT scan) can produce incredibly detailed, three-dimensional images of your child's bones, soft tissues, and blood vessels. CT exams performed in our powerful multi-detector scanners are quick, painless, and non-invasive.
When you bring your child to Children's Boston location or to our clinic in Waltham for a CT scan, you are be seen by our experienced pediatric team of radiologists, technologists, and nurses who pair expert imaging with child-friendly care. Everything we do has been designed with the unique needs of our young patients in mind.
Safety: CT uses ionizing radiation (x-rays), and children are more sensitive to ionizing radiation than adults. Together with our expert physicists, our physicians have acted as leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest possible dose to young patients. We helped develop Image Gently guidelines so hospitals across the country can minimize children's exposure to radiation during medical procedures.
Sedation: Despite the very rapid scan times, sometimes babies and children need to be sedated so they can remain motionless during a CT scan. We have a highly experienced team of pediatric sedation nurses, a sedation-trained pediatrician and anesthesiologists who examine your child before the exam and monitor him or her until it's time for you to go home.
Organ-system interpretation: Our unique approach to pediatric radiology means that a radiologist with subspecialty expertise in the disease or organ system under investigation will interpret your child's study.
Cancer risk of CT scans?
Leadership in radiation safety
Multislice scanners slash exam times
Boston Children's Hospital has state-of-the-art scanners in our Boston and Waltham locations, which dramatically reduce the time a child needs to remain still for an exam - an important factor in difficult cases during which sedation is not advised.