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J Neurosurg. 2004 Nov;101(2 Suppl):147-51.

The use of quick-brain magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of shunt-treated hydrocephalus.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53792, USA.



Children with shunt-treated hydrocephalus are exposed to serious amounts of radiation when undergoing computerized tomography (CT) scanning. The authors report their clinical experience with single-shot fast-spin echo (SSFSE) (quick-brain) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging as the modality of choice for the workup and follow up of patients in whom a shunt has been placed to treat hydrocephalus.


A retrospective chart review was performed to obtain data on all cases in which a quick-brain MR image was acquired for either symptomatic workup or asymptomatic follow-up examination of shunt-treated hydrocephalus. Data regarding demographics, origin of hydrocephalus, MR imaging indications and findings, use of sedation, imaging-related complications, use of adjunctive CT scanning, details of shunt revision, and cause of shunt malfunction were collected. The authors found that SSFSE MR imaging is a sufficient, radiation-free diagnostic alternative to CT scanning that minimizes movement artifact and duration of scanning and eliminates the need for sedation.


In light of these findings, the authors propose that quick-brain MR imaging replace CT scanning as the diagnostic modality of choice in examining and following shunt-treated patients because it offers significant advantages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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