A patient care system for early 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging of very low birth weight infants

N. Merchant, A. Groves, D. J. Larkman, S. J. Counsell, M. A. Thomson, V. Doria, M. Groppo, T. Arichi, S. Foreman, D. J. Herlihy, J. V. Hajnal, L. Srinivasan, A. Foran, M. Rutherford, A. D. Edwards, J. P. Boardman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (weight < 1500 g) are increasingly cared for without prolonged periods of positive pressure ventilation (PPV). Aims: To develop a system for 3.0 T magnetic resonance (MR) image acquisition from VLBW infants who are not receiving PPV, and to test the clinical stability of a consecutive cohort of such infants. Design: Seventy VLBW infants whose median weight at image acquisition was 940 g (590-1490) underwent brain MR imaging with the developed care system as participants in research. Twenty infants (29%) received nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP), 28 (40%) received supplemental oxygen by nasal cannulae, and 22 (31%) breathed spontaneously in air during the MR examination. Results: There were no significant adverse events. Seventy-six percent had none or transient self-correcting oxygen desaturations. Desaturations that required interruption of the scan for assessment were less common among infants receiving nCPAP (2/20) or breathing spontaneously in air (2/22), compared with those receiving nasal cannulae oxygen (13/28), p = 0.003. Sixty-four (91%) infants had an axillary temperature ≥ 36 °C at completion of the scan (lowest 35.7 °C), There was no relationship between weight (p = 0.167) or use of nCPAP (p = 0.453) and axillary temperature < 36 °C. No infant became hyperthermic. Conclusion: VLBW infants who do not require ventilation by endotracheal tube can be imaged successfully and safely at 3.0 T, including those receiving nCPAP from a customised system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-783
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


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