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Pediatr Radiol. 2010 Dec;40(12):1950-4. doi: 10.1007/s00247-010-1816-2. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

Can induced hypothermia be assured during brain MRI in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy?

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  • 1Division of Newborn Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA.


Until now, brain MRIs in asphyxiated neonates who are receiving therapeutic hypothermia have been performed after treatment is complete. However, there is increasing interest in utilizing early brain MRI while hypothermia is still being provided to rapidly understand the degree of brain injury and possibly refine neuroprotective strategies. This study was designed to assess whether therapeutic hypothermia can be maintained while performing a brain MRI. Twenty MRI scans were obtained in 12 asphyxiated neonates while they were treated with hypothermia. The median difference between esophageal temperature on NICU departure and return was 0.1°C (range: -0.8 to 0.8°C). We found that therapeutic hypothermia can be safely and reproducibly maintained during a brain MRI. Hypothermia treatment should not prevent obtaining an early brain MRI if clinically indicated.

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