Imaging Department


Paolo Tomà

The Imaging Department of Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital performs the analysis of the appearance of the human body in the form of two/three-dimensional sections, usually through high-resolution monitors, even if the augmented reality and non-simulated and really constructed 3D images are already part of routine practice.

Radiology has increasingly developed and is divided into clinical and instrumental “super-specialties” dedicated to the pediatric field. In addition to a general central unit, dedicated to basic outpatient activities and to emergency services, the Department also includes units dedicated to advanced diagnosis, to meet the specialist needs and the increasing complexity of care. Over the years, Nuclear Medicine, Interventional Radiology, and Neuroradiology have become independent areas, that are nevertheless perfectly integrated into the system. These sectors carry out a “super-specialist” activity and take care of increasingly complex diseases, which are managed with a multidisciplinary approach. In the field of radiology, the results produced largely depend on the technical equipment, obviously associated with the technological and clinical knowledge of the operators.

In recent years, the technical equipment of the Imaging Department has been further updated, with the replacement of most part of the magnetic resonance imaging equipment. San Paolo and Palidoro facilities were both equipped with a new scan. The 1.5 Tesla scan at the Gianicolo facility has been updated. Therefore, the neuroradiological diagnostic service relies on the more advanced technology currently available and, at the same time, has extended the use of magnetic resonance imaging to the study of the thorax and of the abdomen. Likewise, both the fixed and portable ultrasound equipment were updated.

As to conventional radiology, the transition to Direct Radiology was completed, with significant benefits in terms of ergonomics and dose saving. The main clinical and scientific results are: further growth of Cardiac radiology with MRI; Neuro-oncology increasingly oriented towards advanced imaging; musculoskeletal radiology with the development of a whole body technical approach; and the systematization of diseases like CNO (chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis). 

In the field of Nuclear Medicine, the enhancement of the metabolic radiotherapy led to unique achievements in oncology. Emergency radiology has expanded, and is coordinated across the different facilities, thanks to a complex organizational synthesis. The same can be said for Interventional Radiology. The Imaging Department is growing in terms of number of examinations (approximately 200,000 every year), equipment, technology, and scientific production; at the same time the medical and technical staff is constantly kept up-do-date. The Department carries out low-, medium- and high-complexity activities, emergency interventions, as well as research and drug trials.

“The dream of Bambino Gesù Hospital,
the dream of the Pope, is to help bring
science and humanity to all children with
very severe diseases who need to be treated”
Pope Francis