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Am J Dis Child. 1990 Mar;144(3):374-8.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in infants and children before and after cardiac surgery. A prospective study.

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Department of Radiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68105.


We assessed the morphologic findings of the brain prospectively before and after cardiac surgery using magnetic resonance imaging. There were 12 patients with acyanotic and 6 with cyanotic heart disease. There were 2 deaths, and 1 patient did not have to undergo postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. The study group consisted of 15 patients completing both the preoperative and postoperative magnetic resonance imagings. All patients in the study group underwent moderate hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass using a nonpulsatile membrane oxygenator. The mean (+/- SD) cardiopulmonary bypass time was 100 +/- 55 minutes. Ten of the preoperative studies were interpreted as normal. One third (5 of 15) of the patients showed ventriculomegaly and dilatation of the subarachnoid spaces on preoperative magnetic resonance images. Measurements of the preoperative and postoperative magnetic resonance images showed a postoperative increase in the bicaudate and third ventricular diameters. Four patients in the study group developed postoperative subdural hematomas. The subdural hematomas were small and caused no demonstrable mass effect on magnetic resonance imaging. One patient had a preoperative white matter infarction. There was 1 patient with a postoperative infarction.

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