An MRI system for imaging neonates in the NICU: initial feasibility study.
ABSTRACT Transporting premature infants from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to a radiology department for MRI has medical risks and logistical challenges.
To develop a small 1.5-T MRI system for neonatal imaging that can be easily installed in the NICU and to evaluate its performance using a sheep model of human prematurity.
A 1.5-T MRI system designed for orthopedic use was adapted for neonatal imaging. The system was used for MRI examinations of the brain, chest and abdomen in 12 premature lambs during the first hours of life. Spin-echo, fast spin-echo and gradient-echo MR images were evaluated by two pediatric radiologists.
All animals remained physiologically stable throughout the imaging sessions. Animals were imaged at two or three time points. Seven brain MRI examinations were performed in seven different animals, 23 chest examinations in 12 animals and 19 abdominal examinations in 11 animals. At each anatomical location, high-quality images demonstrating good spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio and tissue contrast were routinely obtained within 30 min using standard clinical protocols.
Our preliminary experience demonstrates the feasibility and potential of the neonatal MRI system to provide state-of-the-art MRI capabilities within the NICU. Advantages include overall reduced cost and site demands, lower acoustic noise, improved ease of access and reduced medical risk to the neonate.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to develop a small 1.5-T MRI system for neonatal imaging that can be installed in the neonatal ICU (NICU) and to evaluate its performance in 15 neonates. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A 1.5-T MR system designed for orthopedic use was adapted for neonatal imaging. Modifications included raising and leveling the magnet, construction of a patient table, and integration of imaging electronics from a high-performance adult-sized scanner. The system was used to perform MR examinations of the brain, abdomen, and chest in 15 medically stable neonates using standard clinical protocols. The scanning time was limited to 60 minutes. The MR examinations were performed without administering sedation to the patients. ECG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and temperature were monitored continuously throughout the examination. The images were evaluated by two pediatric radiologists for overall study quality, motion artifact, spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and contrast. RESULTS. All 15 neonates were successfully imaged without sedation. No adverse MRI-related events were noted. In total, 19 brain and seven abdominal examinations were performed. Six chest and two cardiac examinations were also obtained. Gross (versus physiologic) subject motion proved to be the most influential factor in determining overall study and image quality. High-quality diagnostic images were obtained at each anatomic location. CONCLUSION. The customized neonatal MRI system provides state-of-the-art MRI capabilities in the NICU.American Journal of Roentgenology 01/2014; 202(1):W95-W105. DOI:10.2214/AJR.13.10613 · 2.74 Impact Factor
Article: [Recent advances in newborn MRI.][Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The accurate morphological exploration of the brain is a major challenge in neonatology that advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can now provide. MRI is the gold standard if an hypoxic ischemic pathology is suspected in a full term neonate. In prematures, the specific role of MRI remains to be defined, secondary to US in any case. We present a state of the art of hardware and software technical developments in MRI. The increase in magnetic field strength (3 tesla) and the emergence of new MRI sequences provide access to new information. They both have positive and negative consequences on the daily clinical data acquisition use. The semiology of brain imaging in full term newborns and prematures is more extensive and complex and thereby more difficult to interpret. The segmentation of different brain structures in the newborn, even very premature, is now available. It is now possible to dissociate the cortex and basal ganglia from the cerebral white matter, to calculate the volume of anatomical structures, which improves the morphometric quantification and the understanding of the normal and abnormal brain development. MRI is a powerful tool to analyze the neonatal brain. The relevance of the diagnostic contribution requires an adaptation of the parameters of the sequences to acquire and of the image processing methods.Archives de Pédiatrie 05/2014; 21(7). DOI:10.1016/j.arcped.2014.04.001 · 0.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To eliminate the medical risks and logistical challenges of transporting infants from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to the radiology department for magnetic resonance imaging, a small-footprint 1.5-T MRI scanner has been developed for neonatal imaging within the NICU. MRI is known to be noisy, and exposure to excessive acoustic noise has the potential to elicit physiological distress and impact development in the term and preterm infant. To measure and compare the acoustic noise properties of the NICU MRI system against those of a conventional 1.5-T MRI system. We performed sound pressure level measurements in the NICU MRI scanner and in a conventional adult-size whole-body 1.5-T MRI system. Sound pressure level measurements were made for six standard clinical MR imaging protocols. The average sound pressure level value, reported in unweighted (dB) and A-weighted (dBA) decibels for all six imaging pulse sequences, was 73.8 dB and 88 dBA for the NICU scanner, and 87 dB and 98.4 dBA for the conventional MRI scanner. The sound pressure level values measured on the NICU scanner for each of the six MR imaging pulse sequences were consistently and significantly (P = 0.03) lower, with an average difference of 14.2 dB (range 10-21 dB) and 11 dBA (range 5-18 dBA). The sound pressure level frequency response of the two MR systems showed a similar harmonic structure above 200 Hz for all imaging sequences. The amplitude, however, was appreciably lower for the NICU scanner, by as much as 30 dB, for frequencies below 200 Hz. The NICU MRI system is quieter than conventional MRI scanners, improving safety for the neonate and facilitating siting of the unit within the NICU.Pediatric Radiology 03/2014; 44(8). DOI:10.1007/s00247-014-2909-0 · 1.65 Impact Factor