Imaging in the newborn: Infant immobilizer obviates the need for anesthesia

Agneta Golan, Rina Marco, Hagit Raz, Eilon Shany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Neonatal cerebral imaging is a sensitive technique for evaluating brain injury in the neonatal period. When performing computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, sedation is needed to prevent motion artifacts. However, general anesthesia in neonates carries significant risks and requires a complex logistic approach that often limits the use of these modalities. The development of infant immobilizers now enables imaging without general anesthesia and significantly increases clinical and research investigational opportunities. Objectives: To assess the efficacy of the infant immobilizer instead of general anesthesia for infants undergoing imaging. Methods: The study group comprised all infants born over a 1 year period at Soroka University Medical Center who required imaging such as MRI, CT or bone scans. A MedVac Vacuum Splint infant immobilizer was used in all infants to prevent motion during imaging. The success rate of a single scan and the need for general anesthesia were assessed. Results: Forty infants were examined during 1 year. The studies included 15 CT scans, 25 MRIs and 1 bone scan. The infants' gestational age at birth was 27-40 weeks and the examinations were performed at ages ranging from delivery to 6 months old. All imaging was successful and none of the infants required general anesthesia. Conclusions: An infant immobilizer should be used for imaging of newborns. Since this method carries a low risk and has a high success rate, general anesthesia in newborns is justified only when this non-invasive procedure fails.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-665
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume13
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain imaging
  • General anesthesia
  • Immobilizer
  • Newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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