Evaluation of 100 brain examinations using a 3 Tesla MR-compatible incubator—safety, handling, and image quality
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Several studies have revealed the importance of brain imaging in term and preterm infants. The aim of this retrospective study was to review safety, handling, and image quality of MR brain imaging using a new 3 Tesla MR-compatible incubator.
Between 02/2011 and 05/2012 100 brain MRIs (84 infants, mean gestational age 32.2 ± 4.7 weeks, mean postmenstrual age at imaging 40.6 ± 3.4 weeks) were performed using a 3 Tesla MR-compatible incubator with dedicated, compatible head coil. Seventeen examinations (13 infants, mean gestational age 35.1 ± 5.4 weeks, mean postmenstrual age at imaging 47.8 ± 7.4 weeks) with a standard head coil served as a control. Image analysis was performed by a neuroradiologist and a pediatric radiologist in consensus.
All but two patients with known apnea were transferred to the MR unit and scanned without problems. Handling was easier and faster with the incubator; relevant motion artifacts (5.9 vs. 10.8 %) and the need for repetitive sedation (43.0 vs. 86.7 %) were reduced. Considering only images not impaired by motion artifacts, image quality (4.8 ± 0.4 vs. 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.047) and spatial resolution (4.7 ± 0.4 vs. 4.2 ± 0.6, p = 0.011) of T2-weighted images were scored significantly higher in patients imaged with the incubator. SNR increased significantly (171.6 ± 54.5 vs. 80.5 ± 19.8, p < 0.001) with the use of the incubator.
Infants can benefit from the use of a 3 Tesla MR-compatible incubator because of its safety, easier, and faster handling (compared to standard imaging) and possibility to obtain high-quality MR images even in unstable patients.
KeywordsMRI Incubator Infant Preterm Brain
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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