Advanced Technology and Treatment
Cook Children's offers the latest in diagnostics and treatments utilizing the most advanced technologies available.
I-131 MIBG therapy
One of the therapies Cook Children's offers is I-131 metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) therapy, a clinical research trial providing an experimental radioactive isotope that delivers radiation directly to the cancer cells in neuroblastoma tumors and metastases. Cook Children's is the only pediatric center in the Southwest United States to offer MIBG therapy. Children receiving MIBG therapy stay in a special lead-lined room designed to minimize radiation exposure to the family and staff caring for the patient. During this time, parents can stay in an adjoining suite, so they can be comfortable and interact with their child through a window. Parents can also wear protective clothing and go into the room with their child for a limited time each day. The hospital stay lasts about five to seven days, until the radiation levels decrease.
iMRI/ iMRI surgery suites
An MRI is a noninvasive procedure that allows the medical team to see what's going on inside your child's body without the use of X-rays. Our iMRI suites are comprised of a surgical suite and an MRI scanner so that during a surgery the MRI procedure can be performed without moving the patient.
Before the introduction of our intraoperative MRI, children undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery were lightly sedated, yet awake during the placement of the electrodes into their brain. This was necessary to allow microelectrode recordings to aid in lead placement. With the iMRI, leads are placed visually in fully sedated children. Patients are usually discharged one day after lead placement. This incidence of lead placement revisions has been realty decreased with the use of the iMRI.
The MEG is a noninvasive imaging unit that enables our specialists to see the electrical activity going on in your child's brain. The MEG is designed to measure even the most subtle brain activity, which helps doctors to determine the correct treatments for epilepsy and other brain disorders. The brain creates magnetic fields that the MEG can scan with pinpoint accuracy, reading the activity of tiny neurons deep in the brain.
Laser ablation surgery
Laser ablation surgery is an iMRI-guided, minimally invasive procedure that allows abnormal tissue to be thermally destroyed in real time. Only 10 pediatric facilities in the United States offer this procedure.
The motion lab helps diagnose patients who need selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), DBS and complex orthopedic surgeries. Our advanced motion lab, which opened in June 2015, uses fully integrated biomechanical hardware and software, including 14 infrared cameras, 12 force places and 16 channel wireless electromyography (EMG). A plantar pressure evaluation system allows static and dynamic evaluation of pressure points of the feet. A wireless oxygen consumption study is used to analyze energy efficiency. We have incorporated a UL Certified over-ground harness system with dynamic body-weight support to allow evaluation of partially ambulatory patients and for gait training. It helps promote faster recovery, reduce the length of stay and minimize risk to both patients and clinicians.
We have added a movement-based system providing rehabilitation exercises with audio-visual stimuli. This virtual reality system helps the physical therapist evaluate the patient's progress and modify the rehab program as needed.
Our team works actively with the technology vendor to enhance the quality of studies delivered. We performed more than 100 studies in our first year. The motion analysis studies have helped tailor our treatment plans for complex patients. Walk-aid evaluations also are done in our motion analysis lab and we're collaborating on other uses for the lab to improve children's lives.
Epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU)
Thanks to Bluetooth® wireless technology, patients have the freedom to come and go from their rooms, walk around the unit and even play in the playroom while still being continuously monitored by the video electroencephalogram (EEG) equipment.
Intrathecal spasticity and pain management
Intrathecal baclofen (ITB) was first offered at Cook Children's in 1997. Since then, more than 275 patients have benefited from ITB. We collaborate with our pain management program to offer intrathecal pumps for relief of refractory pain.
3D aPPROaCH lab
Our new 3-D lab uses advanced technology to support pre-surgical planing, printing and family education for patients with complex heart conditions. This is accomplished through the use of both 3-D virtual viewing and 3-D printing. Cook Children's is one of the only pediatric health care facilities in the U.S. to combine these technologies.
The cMRI technology at Cook Children's enables us to create images of the heart with details so sharp, we are able to see very small lesions, tumors and abnormalities in the structure of the heart. The noninvasive procedure takes pictures of the heart and surrounding structures using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer. These 3-D images can be printed or projected as a movie to guide our pediatric specialists' treatment plan.
Cardiologists use a detailed view of the heart to identify abnormal tissue causing an irregular heartbeat. Cook Children's was the first pediatric facility in the U.S. to use EnSite 3000 computerized mapping and imaging software to help identify the source of an arrhythmia.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is available for critically ill infants and children with lung or heart problems, or certain birth anomalies. ECMO is similar to the adult cardiac bypass procedure. The ECMO equipment includes a pump, artificial lung, filter and blood warmer that allows blood to bypass the patient's heart and lungs. This helps the heart and lungs to rest, heal and/or grow in hopes that, after ECMO, the organs will function normally and the child will recover.
3-D echocardiography gives your child's doctor a three-dimensional inside view of the heart, and all of the intricate structures within it, in real time. This helps to see defects and lesions with more precision and to make more accurate surgical decisions.
Because the workings of the heart are very intricate, sometimes a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is performed to get a more complete and precise view. TEE uses sound waves to create high-quality moving pictures of the heart and its blood vessels.
Cook Children's is the only facility in the Southern United States and the second in the country to use an investigational new drug, 18F-DOPA, combined with a PET-CT scan to diagnose focal lesions in children with congenital hyperinsulinism.
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