The Clinical Utility of Inpatient Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Children

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The clinical applicability and yield of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the setting of an inpatient pediatric department has not been investigated. The authors performed a retrospective chart review of nontraumatic/nonneurosurgical children who underwent brain MRI during their hospitalization in a general pediatric department over a 5-year period. Of the 331 children who underwent brain MRI, 148 (45%) had abnormal findings. High-risk headaches and focal seizures were significantly correlated with findings on brain MRI. Diagnostic and therapeutic yields were most significant in acute demyelinating events, acute cerebrovascular disorders, high-risk headaches when supported by neurologic and ophthalmologic findings, focal seizures with evidence of multifocal epileptic activity on an electroencephalogram and ophthalmic complaints when accompanied by cranial nerve palsy and optic nerve impairment. Since the contributions of a brain MRI in hospitalized children is pivotal in specific clinical situations, a judicious decision-making process should be done before its scheduling, in order to optimize clinical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-752
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • MRI
  • benefit
  • inpatient
  • pediatrics
  • utility


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