Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Children
MRI is a special type of picture of the what the body is like on the inside. Pediatric MRIs are done with the use of a large magnet and radio waves like the kind that you hear on your favorite radio station. The combination of a computer, radio waves, and a magnet produces very clear images of body structures such as the brain and the spine.
The MRI scanner looks like a large box with an open tunnel running through the middle. Your child will be able to watch a movie, or listen to music while the scan is being performed. There will be some loud noises as the machine is working, but nothing will touch or hurt your child. Millions of patients have had MRIs and the MRI for children has proved extremely safe.
The services included in our state-of-the-art facility include:
- Bolus Track: MRI fluroscopy for contrast enhanced studies.
- Mobitrack: Moving table for extended body MR-Angiograms
- Neuro Imaging: Faster high resolution protocols. fMRI allows you to map brain task-related regions prior to surgery
- Cardiac Imaging: Fast imaging and reconstruction allows for heart imaging
- Sense (Imaging Technique): Allows 77 frames/sec for cardiac studies and breath-hold abdominal studies
- Navigator Pulse (Imaging Technique): Reduces heart motion and motion from breathing for cardiac studies
- Pediatric Head and Spine Coil: Allows for two exams in one seating for tumor sceening
- MRS: Spectroscopy and multivoxel spectroscopy. Measures a variety of metabolites in the brain tissue
- Expanded sedation and recovery areas for patients
How to prepare for my child's MRI scan?
Since it is important for the child to hold very still during the pediatric MRI procedure, your doctor may order some sedation (medicine to make your child sleepy).
Unlike other imaging modalities, there are some people who cannot have an MRI. Persons who have a heart pacemaker or any kind of metallic implant in their body should not have an MRI unless their physician and the radiologist know about it and have approved the exam. For this same reason, the child (and a parent who comes into the room with the patient), will not be allowed to wear anything metallic during the exam, so when preparing for an MRI, it would be best to leave watches, jewelry, or anything else containing metal, at home.
If your child is to be sedated, the MRI Department needs to have the answers, from your doctor, to the following questions about your child:
- Does the patient have cardiac (heart) problems?
- Does the patient have any type of airway disease (breathing problems)?
- Does the patient have a history of apnea-breath stoppage (especially sleep apnea)?
- Does the patient have any type of metabolic disease?
- Does the patient have a prior history of difficult sedation of anesthesia?
- Does the patient have any congenital syndromes?
Patients must also follow the Standard Orders for a Patient Undergoing Sedation for Elective Non Emergency Procedures.
The Largest Provider of Pediatric MRI
In 1985, Nicklaus Children's Hospital installed the first MRI unit in the city of Miami, and was the first MRI facility in the United States dedicated to pediatrics. In 1998, the hospital became the first MRI unit in Miami to offer functional MRIs or fMRI. The Radiology Department of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is the largest provider of pediatric MRI services in outh Florida.