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J Vis Exp. 2009 Jul 30;(29). pii: 1309. doi: 10.3791/1309.

Making MR imaging child's play - pediatric neuroimaging protocol, guidelines and procedure.

Author information

1
Department of Developmental Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, USA.

Abstract

Within the last decade there has been an increase in the use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural basis of human perception, cognition and behavior. Moreover, this non-invasive imaging method has grown into a tool for clinicians and researchers to explore typical and atypical brain development. Although advances in neuroimaging tools and techniques are apparent, (f)MRI in young pediatric populations remains relatively infrequent. Practical as well as technical challenges when imaging children present clinicians and research teams with a unique set of problems. To name just a few, the child participants are challenged by a need for motivation, alertness and cooperation. Anxiety may be an additional factor to be addressed. Researchers or clinicians need to consider time constraints, movement restriction, scanner background noise and unfamiliarity with the MR scanner environment. A progressive use of functional and structural neuroimaging in younger age groups, however, could further add to our understanding of brain development. As an example, several research groups are currently working towards early detection of developmental disorders, potentially even before children present associated behavioral characteristics. Various strategies and techniques have been reported as a means to ensure comfort and cooperation of young children during neuroimaging sessions. Play therapy, behavioral approaches and simulation, the use of mock scanner areas, basic relaxation and a combination of these techniques have all been shown to improve the participant's compliance and thus MRI data quality. Even more importantly, these strategies have proven to increase the comfort of families and children involved. One of the main advances of such techniques for the clinical practice is the possibility of avoiding sedation or general anesthesia (GA) as a way to manage children's compliance during MR imaging sessions. In the current video report, we present a pediatric neuroimaging protocol with guidelines and procedures that have proven to be successful to date in young children.

PMID:
19684560
PMCID:
PMC3148936
DOI:
10.3791/1309
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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