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Head & Neck

Neck lumps and evaluation of the facial and oral cavity area


Here at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin we offer our patients high quality head and neck imaging studies. They are interpreted with considerable expertise by highly experienced neuroradiologists who also help your child's physician select the best imaging approach.

Advanced imaging evaluations are done mainly using

Evaluation of the smaller structures in the head and neck requires greater technical detail than needed with larger organs elsewhere in the body. Our imaging equipment is designed and tuned up to provide the necessary detail.

Hearing loss imaging

For patients with hearing problems, CT and MRI of the petrous temporal bones are ordered routinely.

  • CT is especially useful in identifying issues in the middle ear cavity which may cause a "conductive" type of hearing loss.
  • MRI is particularly helpful when there is an abnormality of the nerve that transmits sound to the brain (it also shows other important adjacent nerves going to the brain).

Neck lumps and oral cavity evaluations


Children who have neck lumps or other types of neck problems may be studied with Ultrasound, CT or MRI.

  • Ultrasound is a very safe, quick and useful screening method; however it does have limitations, but it may be sufficient alone for diagnostic evaluation of some neck cases, albeit less frequently.
  • CT in general offers significantly more information but it delivers a small amount of ionizing radiation. CT evaluation, nevertheless, can be very helpful in studying smaller children since these studies can be done very quickly (it takes only a few seconds of actual imaging time).
  • Iodine contrast agents that are used along with CT are safe and exceedingly so in pre-schoolers.
  • MRI offers exquisite images and is radiation-free but MRI is a prolonged examination often necessitating the use of heavier sedation or anesthesia, especially in younger children.
  • These examinations also work in evaluating the lower face in children

Additional diagnostic uses

  • For sinus, nasal cavity and oral cavity evaluations, CT and MRI are typically the best diagnostic tools as ultrasound typically works less effectively in this area of the head.


Most imaging evaluations of the eyes and vision are done with CT and MRI. In many of these cases evaluation of the brain and nerves traveling to it from the eye are required.

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Center of Excellence

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Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's imaging department just received the Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. Our imaging department was the third children's hospital in the nation to receive this prestigious credential.