Partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage in young pediatric patients: the role of magnetic resonance imaging

Pediatr Cardiol. 2009 May;30(4):458-64. doi: 10.1007/s00246-008-9367-0. Epub 2009 Jan 30.


Studies of larger patient groups for systematic assessment of the anatomical accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (PAPVD) have been performed so far only in adults. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether MRI can precisely depict pulmonary venous anatomy in infants and young children. Data on 26 children under 10 years old that underwent MRI over the past 2 years for suspected PAPVD were assessed. The MRI protocol included shunt quantification by velocity-encoded cine as well as morphological and functional assessment by multislice multiphase and contrast-enhanced MR techniques. MRI was performed in the compliant patient in breath-hold (n = 8; age range, 4.6-9.5 years) and in the noncompliant patient in conscious-sedation free breathing (n = 18; age range, 0.4 to 7.5 years). In 22 patients, PAPVD was diagnosed with MRI and confirmed during surgery. In four patients with large atrial septal defects not accessible to percutaneous closure, normal pulmonary venous return was demonstrated by MRI and confirmed during surgery. MRI under conscious sedation accurately specifies the anatomy of pulmonary veins in infants and small children. Therefore, we suggest performing MRI in patients with inconclusive transthoracic echocardiographic results in the preoperative assessment of PAPVD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Pulmonary Veins / abnormalities*