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Utilizing Gastrointestinal Sonography to Reduce Ionizing Radiation Within a Pediatric Population

Kathryn E. Zale, MS, RDMS, RVT

*Sonographer, Penn Medicine's Chester County Hospital, 398 East Street Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348. Ph: 513.374.6485

The manuscript has been read and approved by the author.

The author has nothing to disclose.



This article describes the many ways sonography can be utilized to reduce ionizing radiation for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions within a pediatric population. The advantages of GI sonographic imaging in infants and children are explored. The limitations are also discussed, along with ways to overcome some of these pitfalls. The utilization of sonography for pediatric GI evaluation has increased over the years, and this article will show how this has been brought about by technological advances and campaigns aimed at reducing patients' ionizing radiation dose. In addition, the normal pediatric GI evaluation with sonography is reviewed, along with the many GI disorders that can be imaged with sonography. The common surgical GI conditions in which sonography plays a leading role are covered in depth. These include appendicitis, intussusception, and pyloric stenosis. Additional GI disorders that can be evaluated with sonography, including trauma, necrotizing enterocolitis, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal ischemia, and hernia, are briefly discussed within the context of a more extensive list of GI conditions that may be evaluated within pediatric sonography. Finally, this article will review emerging and future GI applications within pediatric sonography, including contrast-enhanced ultrasound, elastography, and endoscopic ultrasound. 

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