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Ultrafast Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Neonate in a Magnetic Resonance-Compatible Incubator with Built-in Coil

Elspeth H. Whitby, Paul D. Griffiths, PhD, Torsten Lonneker-Lammers, Ravi Srinivasan, PhD, Daniel J.A. Connolly, FRCR, David Capener, BSc, Martyn N.J. Paley, PhD; Pediatrics Vol. 113, No. 2, February 2004, pp. e150-e152.


Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the neonate is important clinically, because this group of patients often has complex and multiple problems due to prematurity and developmental abnormalities. MR imaging usually involves moving neonates away from their controlled environment to the scanner. Objective. In this study we present the results of our initial experience with an MRcompatible incubator used on a 1.5-T system.

Methods. Seven neonates were imaged at 1.5 T without sedation or anesthesia. Images were obtained by using single-shot fast spin echo, 3-dimensional Fourier transfer gradient echo, and diffusion-weighted sequences. In 4 cases, time-of-flight angiography was performed.

Results. All 7 neonates were stable throughout the scan time (10-21 minutes). Experienced observers graded the images for quality, and all were graded excellent or good. In no case was the image quality poor. Conclusion. Neonates can be imaged safely by using an MR-compatible incubator and fast image sequences. This method should allow neonates to be imaged by MR in sites at which a dedicated neonatal MR scanner is not available.