Combining different neuroimaging modalities like cranial transfontanellar ultrasound (CUS) and MRI techniques remains the key point to optimize the diagnostic approach to investigate late-preterm and term newborn babies with neurological symptoms. In addition, CUS and MRI are used also to screen very preterm babies at high risk for developing perinatally acquired lesions like hemorrhages (germinal matrix hemorrhage-intraventricular hemorrhage and cerebellar hemorrhage) and hypoxic/inflammatory abnormalities of white matter. CUS can be used in very preterm babies from the first hours of life, while MRI is utilized more often at term-equivalent age. Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recently included “routine MRI a term-corrected age” of very premature babies among the five things not to do, we believe it is nowadays a common practice in the western world NICUs and, perhaps, it is justified practice for a special medicine like neonatal intensive care, a modern medicine always so deeply linked with the most modern research.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality that allows assessment of the developing brain in great detail because of its resolving power and noninvasiveness. MR techniques are unique in that they provide the best sensitivity in detecting also metabolic and functional information without the use of ionizing radiation. Conventional MRI is therefore now widely used for identifying normal and pathologic brain morphology and giving objective information about the structure of the neonatal brain during development and injury.
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