Rapid Sequence MRI Protocol in the Evaluation of Pediatric Brain Attacks

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7 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of our study was to evaluate the clinical utility of rapid sequence magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilizing diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery sequences in children with acute ischemic strokes and nonstroke brain attacks. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients aged one month to 25 years for whom a pediatric stroke clinical pathway was activated. Diffusion-weighted imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery were obtained followed by a complete MRI. Imaging was interpreted by a pediatric radiologist and the study neurologist. We collected information regarding patient demographics, neuroimaging results, and final diagnosis. Results: The Pediatric Stroke Clinical Pathway was activated for 59 patients of whom 52 were included for analysis. The majority of patients were female (n = 29, 55.8%) and African American (n = 32, 61.5%), with a median age of 12 years (interquartile range 9, 16). Six patients had an ischemic stroke. Seizures, migraines, and psychosomatic disorders (each with n = 7; 13.5%) were the most common nonstroke diagnoses. Diffusion-weighted imaging was more sensitive (100% [55.0% to 100%] versus 80 % [32% to 99%]) and specific (73.9% [68% to 74%] versus 37.2% [32% to 39%]) compared with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery in identification of an ischemic stroke. However, fluid-attenuated inversion recovery was useful in the identification of inflammatory and metabolic disorders. Conclusion: Rapid sequence MRI can be utilized as a screening imaging modality in children with suspected brain attacks in cases where there may be delays in obtaining full sequence brain imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Fluid-attenuated inversion recovery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pediatrics
  • Stroke
  • Stroke mimics


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