The impact of preparation and support procedures for children with sickle cell disease undergoing MRI


Background: Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) often undergo MRI studies to assess brain injury or to quantify hepatic iron. MRI requires the child to lie motionless for 30- 60 min, thus sedation/anesthesia might be used to facilitate successful completion of exams, but this poses additional risks for SCD patients. To improve children's ability to cope with MRI examinations and avoid sedation, our institution established preparation and support procedures (PSP). Objective To investigate the impact of PSP in reducing the need for sedation during MRI exams among children with SCD. Materials and methods: Data on successful completion of MRI testing were compared among 5- to 12-year-olds who underwent brain MRI or liver R2*MRI with or without receiving PSP. Results: Seventy-one children with SCD (median age 9.85 years, range 5.57-12.99 years) underwent a brain MRI (n=60) or liver R2*MRI (n=11). Children who received PSP were more likely to complete an interpretable MRI exam than those who did not (30 of 33; 91% vs. 27 of 38; 71%, unadjusted OR=4.1 (P=0.04) and OR=8.5 (p < 0.01) when adjusting for age. Conclusion: PSP can help young children with SCD complete clinically interpretable, nonsedated MRI exams, avoiding the risks of sedation/anesthesia. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

Publication Title

Pediatric Radiology