Functional pulmonary imaging of young children without sedation – a pilot study
Andrew Prayle, MD
BACKGROUND: Pre-school respiratory symptoms represent an ongoing clinical challenge to pediatric pulmonologists, as there a few routine diagnostic tests which allow differentiation between airway narrowing (e.g. pre-school asthma) versus chronic lung infection (e.g. protracted bacterial bronchitis).
GAP: There is a need for a non-ionizing radiological technique to investigate troublesome chronic respiratory symptoms in young children without sedation.
HYPOTHESIS: Oxygen enhanced MRI of young children (aged 3 to less than 6 years can be undertaken successfully without sedation in an upright MRI scanner. Regional functional information about lung physiology can be inferred from these scans using current oxygen enhanced MRI imaging protocols.
METHODS: We will scan healthy volunteers and children with a known respiratory disease (e.g. cystic fibrosis or primary ciliary dyskinesia) or those with chronic (over 4 weeks) respiratory symptoms (cough and/or wheeze), to determine the feasibility of OE-MRI in out upright scanner.
IMPACT: If this project is successful we will undertake a larger cohort study in children with chronic respiratory symptoms from referral to resolution of treatment, identifying if OEMRI in the upright scanner can measure response to treatment, as a step towards using upright OEMRI as a diagnostic tool, and as an endpoint for future clinical trials.