, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 636-646
Date: 16 May 2006

Imaging of the brain in full-term neonates: does sonography still play a role?

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Abstract

To date the literature comparing the usefulness of US and MR examinations of the neonatal brain suggests that US is not as effective a modality as MR. However, available studies were done on older equipment and published descriptions of the abnormalities found in the term brain are often incomplete. The purpose of this article is to emphasize technical factors that may be useful to optimize US imaging of the term neonatal brain, to provide a description of the sonographic findings in the brain in full-term neonates with hypoxic–ischaemic injury and to provide some data regarding the accuracy of sonography. While MR imaging may reveal abnormalities of the brain more floridly than sonography, we believe that sonography remains an extremely useful modality for evaluation of the full-term neonatal brain and it is probably a more accurate modality in this age group than the current literature suggests. Further prospective studies comparing sonographic and MR imaging findings are required to document the accuracy of sonography better and to help us define the role of this modality better. Such studies may help us select which patients really require MR imaging.