An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce an image of internal body structures, such as images of fetuses in utero. Pediatric Neurosurgeons can use ultrasound to view a baby’s brain because babies’ skulls have not fully hardened. Ultrasound images are quick, can be performed in a doctor’s office, and pose no significant health risks.
X-Rays use radiation to produce an image that clearly shows bone structures, and it can also be used to identify some abnormalities in soft tissues, like pneumonia in the lungs. Neurosurgeons often take x-rays of the skull to detect skull fractures, an oddly shaped skull, or other skull abnormalities. Getting an X-ray takes about 15 minutes, and the low dose of radiation carries limited health risks. Verry often, neurosurgeons need to see SHUNT x-rays.
A CT-scan uses X-rays and computer technology to produce clear pictures of tissues inside the body. Because CT-scans are quick and easy to perform, Neurosurgeons often order a CT scan when a prompt diagnosis of brain abnormality, such as identifying bleeds due to trauma, are needed. CT scans use a higher dose of radiation than traditional x-rays and carry some health risks, such as causing cancer in kids, so pediatric neurosurgeons typically avoid them whenever an MRI is possible, and ONLY use them in emergency situations.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses magnetic fields to produce a clear image of internal body structures. Pediatric neurosurgeons frequently use MRI to detect abnormalities of the brain and spine, some of which cannot be seen with the less-vivid CT scan. Getting an MRI can take up to an hour and children usually require sedation in order to prevent them from moving, but MR imaging uses no radiation and does not carry the health risks of a CT scan.
NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for a patient/physician relationship.
NJPNI is committed to creating a culturally diverse, inclusive and collaborative community for patients and their families, employees and associates where each person is celebrated and has a sense of equal belonging. See our DEI Statement Page for more information.
NJPNI does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, or on the basis of disability or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits of any of its programs and activities or in employment therein. This statement is in accordance with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Regulations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued pursuant to the Acts, Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations part 80, 84, and 91.