Children's Radiology

Inova Children's Hospital has the only dedicated pediatric radiology program in Northern Virginia. We perform more than 60,000 examinations for children each year. Our staff are experts in making your child as comfortable and relaxed during a procedure as possible.

Diagnostic imaging procedures for children are available at every Inova facility. Board-certified pediatric radiologists see young patients at Inova Children's Hospital, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital.

Schedule an exam

To make an appointment with an Inova Children's pediatric radiologist, call 571-472-5400. If your child requires anesthesia for an exam, please call 703-776-2588.

Bring to your child’s exam:

  • Medication list
  • Insurance card
  • History of previous surgical procedures
  • Referral form from your physician

Prepping for an exam

If your child is already scheduled for an exam, here are helpful guidelines to help you plan for your visit.

Our Team

We have expert, kid-friendly pediatric radiologists

Our nationally renowned pediatric radiologists provide diagnostic and treatment imaging services in the new, supportive surroundings of Inova Children’s dedicated pediatric radiology department. We work with state-of-the-art equipment and offer skilled technologists and nurses.

In addition to our child-friendly suite designed especially for our young patients, our highly trained Child Life specialists are on hand to help young patients understand their procedures and lessen any fears.

Specialized Programs and Services

Radiology as Treatment

Neuro Interventional Radiology

Inova pediatric neuro interventional radiologists are board-certified physicians who specialize in minimally invasive treatments targeting the neck and brain. These specialists use diagnostic imaging technology, shown on a screen, to guide them during procedures. Neuro interventional radiology carries less risk and pain and shorter recovery times than traditional open surgeries.

For patients diagnosed with inoperable tumors involving the liver, kidney, bone and lung, Inova offers other options for treatment. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a new technique in which a heated device destroys a precise area of tumor tissue with very little risk of damaging adjacent normal tissue. We frequently perform RFA on sedated patients on an outpatient basis with minimal side effects.

Chemoembolization is another minimally invasive treatment for inoperable tumors. This technique administers chemotherapy directly into the tumor through a tiny tube. This method can be an extremely effective treatment for primary liver cancers and other metastatic tumors.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Inova Fairfax Hospital is the only hospital in Northern Virginia to offer stereotactic radiosurgery, a technique in which a very high radiation dose is delivered with extreme precision to a very small target. This technique was developed as a substitute for surgery, particularly in brain tumors that are inaccessible to the surgeon due their critical location.

Vascular Interventional Radiology

Inova’s vascular interventional radiology program treats a variety of medical conditions without traditional surgery. Our nationally recognized, board-certified interventional radiologists perform minimally invasive procedures using small incisions, tiny instruments and imaging techniques. These procedures are generally less traumatic to children than surgery, and result in less pain and shorter hospital stays.

Pediatric Imaging Tests

Pediatric Imaging Services at Inova Children's Hospital

Our pediatric radiology team selects the most appropriate child-focused imaging techniques to diagnose medical and surgical conditions including:

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Neuroimaging (CT and MRI)
  • Neurointerventional Radiology
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Ultrasound
  • Vascular Interventional Radiology
  • Vascular Ultrasound
  • X-ray
Patient Information

Prepping for an Exam

You will be given specific information about exam preparation from your physician or the schedulers when you make your child's radiology appointment. The information below is meant to provide guidelines for exam preparation, but always call your doctor if you have questions.

Some exams require that your child fast before the exam or procedure. This is known as NPO (an acronym of the Latin, "nothing by mouth"). NPO means no fluids (including water) or food are allowed for a specified number of hours before the exam. Your physician will provide you with appropriate NPO guidelines for your child's test.

Review the guidelines for different types of exams.

Short stay information

If your child is scheduled for a procedure such as a liver or kidney biopsy, he or she will be pre-admitted to the Short Stay Unit at Inova Children's Hospital prior to the procedure, prepped, and then brought to the Pediatric Radiology department for the procedure.

Afterwards your child returns to the Short Stay Unit to recover. Recovery time varies for each child, but you can expect a total hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

Family Resources

Help Us Make Your Child Comfortable

We want you and your child to be comfortable during his or her hospital visit or short stay. Our Child Life experts offer these tips for helping prepare your child for an imaging exam:

  • You are an active member of your child’s care team. Please ask questions and tell us about your child. Each child is different, and the more we know about your child, the better we can serve him or her.
  • Children in the hospital may feel intimidated by their surroundings. You may notice different behaviors in your child. The Child Life staff can help you to best support your child through this if you have any concerns.
  • Feel free to bring comfort items for your child such as a favorite stuffed animal or pillow from home
  • If you have questions about how to talk to your child about an upcoming hospitalization, please call the Child Life Department at 703-776-6486.