Anesthesia use growing in pediatric MRI

More than ever, researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital report, pediatric patients are receiving anesthesia ahead of MRI. The team from the Columbus, OH, facility reviewed claims data on more than 17,200 MRI encounters and more than 18,500 separate examinations for minor patients.

More than ever, researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital report, pediatric patients are receiving anesthesia ahead of MRI. The team from the Columbus, OH, facility reviewed claims data on more than 17,200 MRI encounters and more than 18,500 separate examinations for minor patients. The findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, reveal that children required anesthesia in 28% of MRI encounters in 2014 compared with 21% in 2011. The gains were greatest, 0.64% per month, among patients aged 1–6 years and lowest, 0.42% per month, among those aged 7–12 years. Study authors say the growing use of anesthesia in underage MRI patients—which does not appear to be influenced by demographic trends or types of exams ordered—is inflating costs and could present a challenge to care organizations.