Safety of Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Cervical Spine in Children Performed without Neurosurgical Supervision.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: The need for neurosurgical supervision as well as the general safety and utility of dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine in children remains controversial. We present the largest descriptive cohort study of cervical flexion-extension MRI scans in pediatric patients to help elucidate the safety and utility of this technique. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all cervical spine MRI scans performed at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford from 2009 to 2015. We identified 66 dynamic cervical MRI scans performed in 45 children and 2 young adults for further study. RESULTS: General anesthesia was used in 43 scans. The neuroradiology team performed all scans with no direct supervision by the neurosurgery team. There were no adverse events. Dynamic MRI detected significant instability that was not clearly seen on dynamic radiographs (5 patients) and cord compression not seen on static MRI (9 patients). One patient with asymptomatic instability found on flexion-extension radiographs had no cord compression with movement on MRI and was managed conservatively. Two neonates with significant congenital malformations of the cervical spine were cleared for operative positioning for cardiac procedures based on flexion-extension MRI. CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic MRI is a safe tool for evaluating the cervical spine and cervicomedullary junction in various pediatric populations and can be performed safely without direct neurosurgical supervision. We describe for the first time the use of flexion-extension MRI to clear neonates with severe congenital cervical spine abnormalities for complex operative positioning and further care in the intensive care unit.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yecies, D; Fogel, N; Edwards, M; Grant, G; Yeom, KW; Cheshier, S

Published Date

  • August 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 116 /

Start / End Page

  • e1188 - e1193

PubMed ID

  • 29883828

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.05.210


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States