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Tests and Services

Diagnostic X-rays


Children’s performs more than 55,000 x-rays each year.

What are x-rays?
X-rays are made by using low levels of external radiation to produce images of the body, the organs and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X-rays pass through body structures onto specially treated plates (similar to digital cameras) and a negative type picture is made. The more solid a structure is, the whiter it appears on the radiograph. For this reason, bones appear very white on an x-ray radiograph, but less dense tissue such as muscle, blood, skin, and fat appears darker.

How do I receive a copy of my child's radiology images (x-rays, CT, MR, ultrasound, nuclear medicine)?
Parents can call our film library at 202-476-3426 to make this request. Please provide at least three days advance notification. The film library is open Monday - Friday from 8 am-5 pm.

How do I schedule an appointment for an x-ray?
If your child has an order for a diagnostic x-ray, you can walk-in to the Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology Division on the second floor of the main hospital. All other services require an appointment. Service hours vary by the type of test ordered. Please call our scheduling line at 202-476-4700 for more information.

Diagnostic x-rays are available at Children’s Regional Outpatient Centers in Montgomery County, Laurel and Fairfax.
Diagnostic X-rays - Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center