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Pediatric anesthesia and neurotoxicity: what the radiologist needs to know


The use of cross-sectional imaging in the pediatric population continues to rise, particularly the use of MRI. Limiting motion artifact requires cooperative subjects who do not move during imaging, so there has been an increase in the need for pediatric sedation or anesthesia. Over the last decade, concern has increased that exposure to anesthesia might be associated with long-term cognitive deficits. In this review we report current understanding of the effects of anesthesia on the pediatric population, with special focus on long-term developmental and cognitive outcomes, and suggest how radiologists can use new technologies or imaging strategies to mitigate or minimize these potential risks.

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Correspondence to Joshua P. Nickerson.

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Barton, K., Nickerson, J.P., Higgins, T. et al. Pediatric anesthesia and neurotoxicity: what the radiologist needs to know. Pediatr Radiol 48, 31–36 (2018).

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  • Anesthesia
  • Children
  • Developmental delay
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Sedation