"X"ing Out X-Rays: New Way To Look Inside The Body



BACKGROUND:  Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to keep the scoliosis from worsening and to straighten severe cases of scoliosis. (Source: MayoClinic)

Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include: Uneven shoulders, one shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other, uneven waist, or one hip higher than the other. If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Severe scoliosis can cause back pain and difficulty breathing. (Source: MayoClinic)

Plain X-rays can confirm the diagnosis of scoliosis and reveal the severity of the spinal curvature. If a doctor suspects that an underlying condition — such as a tumor — is causing the scoliosis, he or she may recommend additional imaging tests, including: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce very detailed images of bones and soft tissues. Computerized tomography (CT). CT scans combine X-rays taken from many different directions to produce more-detailed images than do plain X-rays. Bone scans involve the injection of a radioactive material, which travels to the parts of your bones that are injured or healing. (Source: MayoClinic)

The EOS is able to obtain a standard PA and lateral scoliosis film with 1/10 the amount of radiographic exposure of standard low-dose films. The EOS is able to obtain 3-D visualization of the spine with 1/1,000 the dose of a CT scanner. In addition to providing a standard 2-D film, EOS also allows for 3-D reconstruction of individual bone position, rotation and orientation. Not only does the EOS capture a simultaneous PA and lateral radiograph of the spine, it also has the capability of whole body radiographs in the standing position. This comprehensive view of spine and joint alignment allows for a more accurate assessment of deformities. (Source: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin)