Choosing Wisely:

Avoid routine screening term-equivalent or discharge brain MRIs in preterm infants.

Rationale and Comments: Findings on term-equivalent MRI correlate with neurodevelopmental outcomes at discharge and at 2 and 5 years of age. There is, however, insufficient evidence that the routine use of term-equivalent or discharge screening brain MRIs in preterm infants improves long-term outcome.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Pediatrics - Section on Perinatal Pediatrics
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Neurologic
  • Neonatology
  • References: • Iwata S, Nakamura T, Hizume E, Kihara H, Takashima S, Matsuishi T, Iwata O. Qualitative brain MRI at term and cognitive outcomes at 9 years after very preterm birth. Pediatrics. 2012 May;129(5):e1138-47. • Janvier A, Barrington K. Trying to predict the future of ex-preterm infants: who benefits from a brain MRI at term? Acta Paediatr. 2012 Oct;101(10):1016-7. • Miller SP, Ferriero DM, Leonard C, Piecuch R, Glidden DV, Partridge JC, Perez M, Mukherjee P, Vigneron DB, Barkovich AJ. Early brain injury in premature newborns detected with magnetic resonance imaging is associated with adverse early neurodevelopmental outcome. J Pediatr. 2005 Nov;147(5):609-16. • Nongena P, Ederies A, Azzopardi DV, Edwards AD. Confidence in the prediction of neurodevelopmental outcome by cranial ultrasound and MRI in preterm infants. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2010 Nov; 95(6):F388-90. • Pearce R, Baardsnes J. Term MRI for small preterm babies: do parents really want to know and why has nobody asked them? Acta Paediatr. 2012 Oct;101(10):1013-5. • Setänen S, Haataja L, Parkkola R, Lind A, Lehtonen L. Predictive value of neonatal brain MRI on the neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants by 5 years of age. Acta Paediatr. 2013 May;102(5):492-7. • Woodward LJ, Anderson PJ, Austin NC, Howard K, Inder TE. Neonatal MRI to predict neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants. N Engl J Med. 2006 Aug 17; 355(7):685-94. • Woodward LJ, Clark CA, Bora S, Inder TE. Neonatal white matter abnormalities an important predictor of neurocognitive outcome for very preterm children. PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e51879.

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