A novel 1T MRI scanner, previously compared to a 1.5T Siemens scanner, was placed in our NICU. The 5-gauss safety line is inside the magnet, rendering standard magnetic safety precautions unnecessary and allowing maintaining ongoing critical care. Scans included near-term equivalent stable neonates and neonates in an acute / sub-acute setting of disease. Through the following cases we present the capabilities of the 1T in-NICU scanner to evaluate the neonatal brain throughout different phases of injury. Case 1–Chronic. A 28 5/7 week infant born to mother with chorioamnionitis, developed sepsis. Cranial US showed bilateral IVH Grade III (L) / IV (R) on DOL 2. At DOL 49, ventriculomegaly and porencephalic cysts were detected on US. MRI at term equivalent age demonstrated the post hemorrhagic cystic degeneration and ventriculomegaly. Follow up MRI was performed at 4 months of age due to increasing head circumference. Presence of prior MRI images increased diagnostic confidence. Case 2–Sub-acute. A term infant with moderate encephalopathy treated with therapeutic hypothermia, after absent fetal movements for two days. Complicated NICU course, with multi-system organ failure, seizures and severe hypoglycemia. MRI scan on DOL 14 showed punctate rim-T1 hyperintense foci with a hypointense center, opposite T2 signal and restricted diffusion, in the centrum semi-ovale and periventricular white matter. Sub-acute hemorrhage with suspected ischemic etiology was the working diagnosis. Case 3–Acute. A term infant delivered by stat C-section for non-reassuring fetal heart rate and low Apgar scores. Complicated NICU course, including multisystem organ failure, seizures, and burst suppression on cerebral monitoring. MRI scan on DOL 6 showed diffuse abnormal cortical T1 and white-matter T2 signal. Restricted diffusion was seen diffusely in a posterior distribution. Diffuse hypoxic ischemic injury was diagnosed. Case 4–Hyper-Acute. A 31 week infant was delivered by stat C-section after major maternal trauma, with extremely severe hypovolemic shock. An MRI scan was performed at 8 hours of life, to determine direction of care while intubated and on vasopressor support. Extra-axial and intraventricular hemorrhage were seen, as well as diffuse restricted diffusion. The scan assisted family and physicians to reach a decision regarding discontinuing of care.
SPR 2020 Annual Meeting & Postgraduate Course