A bone scan is a picture of the bones to see if any tumor activity is present.
This is done by injecting a small amount of radioactive isotope, or tracer, into a vein. The tracer contains about the same amount of radiation as a an x-ray. The tracer travels to bones where there is tumor activity. The scanner can then detect any area in the bones that are not normal.
Your child will need to lie still while in the scanner. Some children may need sedation to be able to lie still for the whole scan.
Computerized Axial Tomography Scan - CT or CAT Scan
A CT scan uses a special x-ray to make a detailed picture of the inside of the body.
The scan is done in the radiology department.
Contrast dye may be given in a vein and/or by mouth before the test. Contrast dye helps distinguish normal structures from cancer.
Some children need sedation to be able to lie still for the whole scan.
Positron Emission Tomography Scan - PET Scan
PET scans look for tumor activity in the body.They can also show infections or inflammation.
A PET scan is done by injecting a small amount of radioactive isotope,or tracer into a vein.The tracer travels to places in the body where there is tumor activity.
After the tracer is injected, your child will have to lie very still on the PET scanner table while pictures are being taken.
Be sure to ask about what instructions are needed to prepare for the PET Scan. For instance,there are special dietary instructions to follow, and there may be additional instructions if your child needs sedation.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging - MRI
An MRI uses a special machine (scanner) to look inside the body. The scanner uses magnetic waves to create a picture of the inside of the body. Your child will need to lie still on the table inside the MRI machine while the pictures are made.
Your child should not wear anything metal (jewelry, belt, etc.) because the machine attracts metal. Your child will hear and feel a rhythmic knocking sound, like a drumbeat, when the machine is scanning.
You may not be able to stay in the same room with your child during this test; however you and the staff can always hear and see your child.
The length of the test depends on the part of the body being scanned. Some children need sedation to lie still for the whole test.
An ultrasound makes pictures of the inside of the body by bouncing sound waves off the tissue or organs inside the body.
Clear jelly is placed over the part of the body that is being studied. A small round probe (transducer) is placed on the jelly and moved around to get a clear picture of the tissue or organ.
An x-ray is a picture taken of the inside of part of the body.
For example, x-rays can show if a bone is broken or if there is an infection or fluid in the lungs.