Thomas Larrew, Mohammed Alshareef, Robert F. Murphy, Ramin Eskandari, and Libby Kosnik Infinger
Although the advent of magnetic growing rod technology for scoliosis has provided a means to bypass multiple hardware lengthening operations, it is important to be aware that many of these same patients have a codiagnosis of hydrocephalus with magnet-sensitive programmable ventricular shunts. As the magnetic distraction of scoliosis rods has not previously been described to affect the shunt valve setting, the authors conducted an investigation to characterize the interaction between the two devices.
In this ex vivo study, the authors carried out 360 encounters between four different shunt valve types at varying distances from the magnetic external remote control (ERC) used to distract the growing rods. Valve settings were examined before and after every interaction with the remote control to determine if there was a change in the setting.
The Medtronic Strata and Codman Hakim valves were found to have setting changes at distances of 3 and 6 inches but not at 12 inches. The Aesculap proGAV and Codman Certas valves, typically described as MRI-resistant, did not have any setting changes due to the magnetic ERC regardless of distance.
Although it is not necessary to check a shunt valve after every magnetic distraction of scoliosis growing rods, if there is concern that the magnetic ERC may have been within 12 inches (30 cm) of a programmable ventricular shunt valve, the valve should be checked at the bedside with a programmer or with a skull radiograph along with postdistraction scoliosis radiographs.
Chelsea Shope, Mohammed Alshareef, Thomas Larrew, Christopher Bolling, Justin Reagan, Milad Yazdani, Maria Spampinato, and Ramin Eskandari
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a prevalent pediatric pathology in the modern emergency department. Computed tomography (CT) is utilized for detection of TBI and can result in cumulatively high radiation exposure. Recently, a fast brain magnetic resonance imaging (fbMRI) protocol has been employed for rapid imaging of hydrocephalus in pediatric patients. The authors investigate the utility of a modified trauma-focused fbMRI (t-fbMRI) protocol as an alternative to surveillance CT in the setting of acute TBI in pediatric patients, thus reducing radiation exposure while improving diagnostic yield.
A retrospective review was performed at the authors’ institution for all pediatric patients who had undergone t-fbMRI within 72 hours of an initial CT scan, using a 1.5- or 3-T MR scanner for trauma indications. Forty patients met the study inclusion criteria. The authors performed a comparison of findings on the reads of CT and fbMRI, and a board-certified neuroradiologist conducted an independent review of both modalities.
T-fbMRI outperformed CT in specificity, sensitivity, and negative predictive value for all injury pathologies measured, except for skull fractures. T-fbMRI demonstrated a sensitivity of 100% in the detection of extraaxial bleed, intraventricular hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage and had a sensitivity of 78% or greater for epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, and intraparenchymal hemorrhage. T-fbMRI yielded a specificity of 100% for all types of intracranial hemorrhages, with a corresponding negative predictive value that exceeded that for CT.
In pediatric populations, the t-fbMRI protocol provides a valid alternative to CT in the surveillance of TBI and intracranial hemorrhage. Although not as sensitive in the detection of isolated skull fractures, t-fbMRI can be used to monitor pathologies implicated in TBI patients while minimizing radiation exposure from traditional surveillance imaging.