New Scanner at Children’s Hospital Helps Cut Radiation Risk in Scoliosis Imaging

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EOS has arrived at Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh of UPMC!  Children’s hospital has recently opened the new ultra-low dose spine and long bone imaging system, “EOS”.  Named for the “goddess of the dawn” in Greek mythology, the acquisition of the EOS Imaging System, one of a handful in Pennsylvania, ushers in a new dawn of low radiation dose imaging for children and young adults with scoliosis, spinal deformities, and limb alignment disorders or length discrepancies.  The ultra-low dose EOS machine reduces the radiation dose for a scoliosis examination by as much as 90 %. 
Typically, a scoliosis film, even using the lower doses already utilized at Children’s Hospital Radiology,  is equivalent to the radiation dose of approximately one year in the sun in Pittsburgh (approximately 2.5 -3.0 millisievert or mSv).

For children and young adults with scoliosis, who often have spine radiographs every 3 to 6 months, the reduction in radiation dose to breast and reproductive tissues over the course of treatment for scoliosis is substantial.  Since scoliosis is more than 10 times more common in girls than boys, the decreased dose to the developing breasts over the years a patient can be treated for scoliosis and other orthopedic disorders is even more important.  Radiation exposure is always a concern when we care for patients, and our goal is to use the least amount of radiation while making the best and most accurate diagnosis possible.  The new micro-dose EOS system at Children’s Hospital Radiology allows us to do just that.

The EOS Imaging System uses a biplane acquisition, scanning the entire spine at once, both front view and side view simultaneously, with the x-ray beam traveling vertically along the desired length of the x-ray.  The total exam takes less than 30 seconds, and parents or caregivers can sit in the room with their child or adolescent if they so choose and are not pregnant.  There is also a fitted seat which can be added so that a child or young adult who cannot stand on his or her own can still have a scoliosis film of the spine at ultra-low radiation dose.