Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Focus On Safety
Your child will be exposed to a very small amount of radiation that is within the lower range of what is received from routine diagnostic imaging procedures that use X-rays. Nuclear medicine has been used on babies and children for more than 40 years with no known adverse effects from the low doses employed.
The radiation exposure received during a nuclear medicine study comes from the radiotracer, which travels to the body part of interest and can be seen by special cameras. We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the smallest radiation dose needed to obtain the desired result. It is important to balance the medical benefits of any imaging test with the potential radiation risks.
Our physicians, technologists, and physicists have acted as leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest possible dose to young patients. The Nuclear Medicine physicians and technologists at Boston Children's Hospital follow the ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) to determine the appropriate dose for your child.
In addition, the Image Gently Campaign and the Pediatric Imaging Council of the Society of Nuclear Medicineare promoting ways and means to achieve the lowest radiation exposures while maintaining high image quality. We helped develop Image Gently guidelines so hospitals across the country can minimize children's exposure to radiation during medical procedures. One of our Nuclear Medicine physicians created a brochure for parents that is available on the Image Gently website. You can download it here.
Read about the hospital's commitment to radiation safety.