In the MRI division of the Department of Radiology and Imaging at HSS, the pediatric patient is a special patient. For those patients who are of sufficient age that they do not require sedation, one or both parents may accompany the child into the MR Suite following appropriate clearance for MR safety. In addition, a favorite soft toy may be brought into the MR unit, once it is cleared for safety and has no metal parts. Mirrored glasses are provided, so that the child may view either the parent or the technologist behind them throughout the MR examination. For those children who require anesthesia, the child is placed under sedation and constantly monitored by a specialty trained pediatric anesthesiologist and nurse.
Each pediatric examination is specifically protocoled with dedicated surface coils and imaging is targeted for the area of clinical concern. The study protocols are modified (i.e. all pulse sequence parameters) in order to maximize the detail and image quality due to the smaller joints and body parts of a child. Every pediatric MRI is monitored by an attending MRI radiologist to ensure the exam addresses the clinical concern and will not have to be repeated. The child gets a small reward after they complete the exam.
The status of the growth plate in children is occasionally a clinical concern following trauma, infection or tumor. Through extensive research collaborations, proprietary 3-D modeling software developed at HSS has undergone rigorous validation for accuracy. This software allows for growth plate (physis) analysis and provides a reproducible assessment and quantification of the degree of closure or deformity, providing important information to the pediatric orthopedic surgeon.