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

Early Hum Dev. 2009 Dec;85(12):779-83. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Nov 17.


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 > or =36 degrees C at completion of the scan (lowest 35.7 degrees C), There was no relationship between weight (p=0.167) or use of nCPAP (p=0.453) and axillary temperature <36 degrees 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight / physiology
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Positioning / methods
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods
  • Safety