Sunday, June 28, 2020

Rapid sequence MRI protocol in the evaluation of pediatric brain attacks

De Jong G, Kannikeswaran N, DeLaroche A, Farooqi A, Sivaswamy L. Rapid Sequence MRI Protocol in the Evaluation of Pediatric Brain Attacks. Pediatr Neurol. 2020;107:77-83. doi:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2019.12.007


Background: The objective of our study was to evaluate the clinical utility of rapid sequence magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilizing diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences in children with acute ischemic strokes and nonstroke brain attacks.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients aged one month to 25 years for whom a pediatric stroke clinical pathway was activated. Diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery were obtained followed by a complete MRI. Imaging was interpreted by a pediatric radiologist and the study neurologist. We collected information regarding patient demographics, neuroimaging results, and final diagnosis.

Results: The Pediatric Stroke Clinical Pathway was activated for 59 patients of whom 52 were included for analysis. The majority of patients were female (n = 29, 55.8%) and African American (n = 32, 61.5%), with a median age of 12 years (interquartile range 9, 16). Six patients had an ischemic stroke. Seizures, migraines, and psychosomatic disorders (each with n = 7; 13.5%) were the most common nonstroke diagnoses. Diffusion-weighted imaging was more sensitive (100% [55.0% to 100%] versus 80 % [32% to 99%]) and specific (73.9% [68% to 74%] versus 37.2% [32% to 39%]) compared with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery in identification of an ischemic stroke. However, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery was useful in the identification of inflammatory and metabolic disorders.

Conclusion: Rapid sequence MRI can be utilized as a screening imaging modality in children with suspected brain attacks in cases where there may be delays in obtaining full sequence brain imaging.

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