Neonatal neurosonography practices: a survey of active Society for Pediatric Radiology members

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Pediatric radiology


BACKGROUND: While neonatal brain US is emerging as an imaging modality with greater portability, widespread availability and relative lower cost compared to MRI, it is unknown whether US is being maximized in infants to increase sensitivity in detecting intracranial pathology related to common indications such as hemorrhage, ischemia and ventriculomegaly.

OBJECTIVE: To survey active members of the Society for Pediatric Radiology (SPR) regarding their utilization of various cranial US techniques and reporting practices in neonates.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We distributed an online 10-question survey to SPR members to assess practice patterns of neonatal cranial US including protocol details, use of additional sonographic views, perceived utility of spectral Doppler evaluation, and germinal matrix hemorrhage and ventricular size reporting preferences.

RESULTS: Of the 107 institutions represented, 90% of respondents were split evenly between free-standing children's hospitals and pediatric departments attached to a general hospital. We found that most used template reporting (72/107, 67%). The anterior fontanelle approach was standard practice (107/107, 100%). We found that posterior fontanelle views (72% sometimes, rarely or never) and high-frequency linear probes to evaluate far-field structures (52% sometimes, rarely or never) were seldom used. Results revealed a range of ways to report germinal matrix hemorrhage and measure ventricular indices to assess ventricular dilatation. There was substantial intra-institutional protocol and reporting variability as well.

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate high variability in neurosonography practice and reporting among active SPR members, aside from the anterior fontanelle views, template reporting and linear high-resolution near-field evaluation. Standardization of reporting germinal matrix hemorrhage and ventricular size would help ensure a more consistent application of neonatal US in research and clinical practice.

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ePub ahead of print