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Tests and Services


Fluoroscopy is an examination of the tissues and deep structures of the body by x-ray, using the fluoroscope. The test involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body.

Fluoroscopy uses a continuous x-ray beam to create a sequence of images that are projected onto a TV monitor.

To make the images clearer, Children’s team will almost always give your child contrast material, which is a liquid made with barium or iodine. This will be given by mouth (or nasogastric tube, if your child is unable to drink) for the following scans: esophagram, upper GI, modified barium swallow, and small bowel series. The contrast material will be placed into the rectum using a small plastic or silicone-rubber tube for a contrast enema. For VCUG, which is Children’s most commonly-performed fluoroscopy exam to check for reflux in children with urinary tract infections, the contrast will be placed into the bladder after your child has a very small diameter tube inserted into the urethra.

When used with a contrast material such as barium or iodine, which clearly defines the area being examined by making it appear bright white, this special x-ray technique makes it possible for the physician to view internal organs in motion. This technique is mostly used to see parts of the gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (also known as the colon), and rectum, and the urinary tract including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. In addition to seeing the area being examined in real-time motion, still images are captured and stored electronically on a computer for later review.

Children’s team performs more than 2,000 fluoroscopy procedures per year. This test is only performed at Children's National Medical Center-Main Hospital location.

Fluoroscopy - Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center