Utility of Rapid Sequence Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Guiding Management of Patients With Neonatal Seizures

Theresa Czech, Andrea C. Pardo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether the use of rapid sequence magnetic resonance imaging (rsMRI) is associated with improved efficiency of care when managing infants with suspected neonatal onset seizures. Methods: We conducted a preintervention and postintervention study of the use of rsMRI in term infants with suspected neonatal onset seizures without evidence of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Study patients were collected from a contemporary cohort from 2016 to 2017 and were compared with a historical cohort from 2014. The primary outcome was hospital length of stay. Secondary outcomes included use of other imaging modalities (head ultrasound, computed tomography [CT], and MRI), use of antiseizure medications at the time of discharge, and cost of hospitalization. Continuous variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test and categorical variables using the Fisher's exact or χ2 tests. A two-tailed P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Ninety-five patients met inclusion criteria, 47 in the preintervention and 48 in the postintervention group. Incorporation of the protocol-guided rsMRI in the evaluation of patients with neonatal seizures was associated with decreased use of CT scans (34% vs 10%, P = 0.007) and full MRIs (85% vs 62%, P = 0.019). Use of head ultrasound, length of stay, and costs were not different between groups. Conclusions: In patients with neonatal seizures, rsMRI was not associated with a reduced hospital length of stay. The use of rsMRI resulted in fewer neonates receiving CT scans during their hospitalization. rsMRI may hasten the identification of stroke or hemorrhage in neonates with seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-60
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric neurology
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Neonatal neurocritical care
  • Neonatal seizures
  • Rapid sequence magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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