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Pediatric neuro MRI: tricks to minimize sedation


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the workhorse modality in pediatric neuroimaging because it provides excellent soft-tissue contrast without ionizing radiation. Until recently, studies were uninterpretable without sedation; however, given development of shorter sequences, sequences that correct for motion, and studies showing the potentially deleterious effects of sedation on immature laboratory animals, it is prudent to minimize sedation when possible. This manuscript provides basic guidelines for performing pediatric neuro MRI without sedation by both modifying technical factors to reduce scan time and noise, and using a multi-disciplinary team to coordinate imaging with the patient’s biorhythms.

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Dr. A. J. Barkovich receives funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for grant R01NS046432.

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Correspondence to Matthew J. Barkovich.

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Barkovich, M.J., Xu, D., Desikan, R.S. et al. Pediatric neuro MRI: tricks to minimize sedation. Pediatr Radiol 48, 50–55 (2018).

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  • Anesthesia
  • Children
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuroradiology
  • Sedation