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Low-field magnetic resonance imaging in a boy with intracranial bolt after severe traumatic brain injury: illustrative case

Awais Abbas, Kiran Hilal, Aniqa Abdul Rasool, Ume-Farwah Zahidi, Muhammad Shahzad Shamim, and Qalab Abbas

BACKGROUND

Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) is sensitive to motion and ferromagnetic material, leading to suboptimal images and image artifacts. In many patients with neurological injuries, an intracranial bolt (ICB) is placed for monitoring intracranial pressure (ICP). Repeated imaging (computed tomography [CT] or cMRI) is frequently required to guide management. A low-field (0.064-T) portable magnetic resonance imaging (pMRI) machine may provide images in situations that were previously considered contraindications for cMRI.

OBSERVATIONS

A 10-year-old boy with severe traumatic brain injury was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit, and an ICB was placed. Initial head CT showed a left-sided intraparenchymal hemorrhage with intraventricular dissection and cerebral edema with mass effect. Repeated imaging was required to assess the brain structure because of continually fluctuating ICP. Transferring the patient to the radiology suite was risky because of his critical condition and the presence of an ICB; hence, pMRI was performed at the bedside. Images obtained were of excellent quality without any ICB artifact, guiding the decision to continue to manage the patient conservatively. The child later improved and was discharged from the hospital.

LESSONS

pMRI can be used to obtain excellent images at the bedside in patients with an ICB, providing useful information for better management of patients with neurological injuries.