Neuroimaging in Children with Ophthalmological Complaints: A Review

Mika Shapira Rootman*, Gad Dotan, Osnat Konen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pediatric patients are commonly referred to imaging following abnormal ophthalmological examinations. Common indications include papilledema, altered vision, strabismus, nystagmus, anisocoria, proptosis, coloboma, and leukocoria. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and orbits (with or without contrast material administration) is typically the imaging modality of choice. However, a cranial CT scan is sometimes initially performed, particularly when MRI is not readily available. Familiarity with the various ophthalmological conditions may assist the radiologist in formulating differential diagnoses and proper MRI protocols afterward. Although MRI of the brain and orbits usually suffices, further refinements are sometimes warranted to enable suitable assessment and accurate diagnosis. For example, the assessment of children with sudden onset anisocoria associated with Horner syndrome will require imaging of the entire oculosympathetic pathway, including the brain, orbits, neck, and chest. Dedicated orbital scans should cover the area between the hard palate and approximately 1 cm above the orbits in the axial plane and extend from the lens to the midpons in the coronal plane. Fat-suppressed T2-weighted fast spin echo sequences should enable proper assessment of the globes, optic nerves, and perioptic subarachnoid spaces. Contrast material should be given judiciously, ideally according to clinical circumstances and precontrast scans. In this review, we discuss the major indications for imaging following abnormal ophthalmological examinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-458
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • MRI
  • Pediatric
  • ophthalmology
  • orbit


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