Quick-brain magnetic resonance imaging for nonhydrocephalus indications: Clinical article

Division of Neurosurgery and, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.
Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.48). 01/2009; 2(6):438-44. DOI: 10.3171/PED.2008.2.12.438
Source: PubMed


In 2002, "quick-brain" (QB) MR imaging (ultrafast spin echo T2-weighted imaging) was introduced as an alternative technique to CT scanning for assessing children with hydrocephalus. The authors have observed high patient and physician satisfaction with this technique at their institution, which has led to an increasing frequency of its use for nonhydrocephalic indications. The goal in this study was to characterize, quantitate, and assess the use of QB MR imaging for these additional indications.
Between February 2003 and December 2007, 1146 consecutive QB MR imaging studies were performed, and the findings were entered prospectively into a radiology database. All available clinical records were retrospectively reviewed to assign > or = 1 of the following indications to each study: hydrocephalus, macrocephaly, Chiari malformation, intracranial cyst, screening prior to lumbar puncture, screening for congenital anomalies, trauma, and other. Changes in the distribution of indications over time and clinical experience for each indication were reviewed.
The total number of QB imaging studies performed increased each year. The proportion of studies performed for nonhydrocephalic indications also increased (from 23 to 50%). The most common indication was screening for macrocephaly, and all other indications were nearly evenly distributed. Quick-brain MR imaging was used extensively for the initial evaluation and follow-up in patients with little need for additional studies. Its false-negative rate, however, remains unknown.
The role of QB MR imaging for nonhydrocephalic indications is expanding, and it appears promising for a number of screening and surveillance paradigms. "Quick-brain plus" protocols for specific indications may add sensitivity and are under development.

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