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James Pan, Jennifer L. Quon, Eli Johnson, Bryan Lanzman, Anjeza Chukus, Allen L. Ho, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

Fast magnetic resonance imaging (fsMRI) sequences are single-shot spin echo images with fast acquisition times that have replaced CT scans for many conditions. Introduced as a means of evaluating children with hydrocephalus and macrocephaly, these sequences reduce the need for anesthesia and can be more cost-effective, especially for children who require multiple surveillance scans. However, the role of fsMRI has yet to be investigated in evaluating the posterior fossa in patients with Chiari I abnormality (CM-I). The goal of this study was to examine the diagnostic performance of fsMRI in evaluating the cerebellar tonsils in comparison to conventional MRI.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective analysis of 18 pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of CM-I based on gold-standard conventional brain MRI and 30 controls without CM-I who had presented with various neurosurgical conditions. The CM-I patients were included if fsMRI studies had been obtained within 1 year of conventional MRI with no surgical intervention between the studies. Two neuroradiologists reviewed the studies in a blinded fashion to determine the diagnostic performance of fsMRI in detecting CM-I. For the CM-I cohort, the fsMRI and T2-weighted MRI exams were randomized, and the blinded reviewers performed tonsillar measurements on both scans.

RESULTS

The mean age of the CM-I cohort was 7.39 years, and 50% of these subjects were male. The mean time interval between fsMRI and conventional T2-weighted MRI was 97.8 days. Forty-four percent of the subjects had undergone imaging after posterior fossa decompression. The sensitivity and specificity of fsMRI in detecting CM-I was 100% (95% CI 71.51%–100%) and 92.11% (95% CI 78.62%–98.34%), respectively. If only preoperative patients are considered, both sensitivity and specificity increase to 100%. The authors also performed a cost analysis and determined that fsMRI was significantly cost-effective compared to T2-weighted MRI or CT.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite known limitations, fsMRI may serve as a useful diagnostic and surveillance tool for CM-I. It is more cost-effective than full conventional brain MRI and decreases the need for sedation in young children.

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Yuhao Huang, Timothy G. Singer, Michael Iv, Bryan Lanzman, Siddharth Nair, James A. Stadler III, Jia Wang, Michael S. B. Edwards, Gerald A. Grant, Samuel H. Cheshier and Kristen W. Yeom

OBJECTIVE

Children with intracranial arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) undergo digital DSA for lesion surveillance following their initial diagnosis. However, DSA carries risks of radiation exposure, particularly for the growing pediatric brain and over lifetime. The authors evaluated whether MRI enhanced with a blood pool ferumoxytol (Fe) contrast agent (Fe-MRI) can be used for surveillance of residual or recurrent AVMs.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort was assembled of children with an established AVM diagnosis who underwent surveillance by both DSA and 3-T Fe-MRI from 2014 to 2016. Two neuroradiologists blinded to the DSA results independently assessed Fe-enhanced T1-weighted spoiled gradient recalled acquisition in steady state (Fe-SPGR) scans and, if available, arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion scans for residual or recurrent AVMs. Diagnostic confidence was examined using a Likert scale. Sensitivity, specificity, and intermodality reliability were determined using DSA studies as the gold standard. Radiation exposure related to DSA was calculated as total dose area product (TDAP) and effective dose.

RESULTS

Fifteen patients were included in this study (mean age 10 years, range 3–15 years). The mean time between the first surveillance DSA and Fe-MRI studies was 17 days (SD 47). Intermodality agreement was excellent between Fe-SPGR and DSA (κ = 1.00) but poor between ASL and DSA (κ = 0.53; 95% CI 0.18–0.89). The sensitivity and specificity for detecting residual AVMs using Fe-SPGR were 100% and 100%, and using ASL they were 72% and 100%, respectively. Radiologists reported overall high diagnostic confidence using Fe-SPGR. On average, patients received two surveillance DSA studies over the study period, which on average equated to a TDAP of 117.2 Gy×cm2 (95% CI 77.2–157.4 Gy×cm2) and an effective dose of 7.8 mSv (95% CI 4.4–8.8 mSv).

CONCLUSIONS

Fe-MRI performed similarly to DSA for the surveillance of residual AVMs. Future multicenter studies could further investigate the efficacy of Fe-MRI as a noninvasive alternative to DSA for monitoring AVMs in children.