Sedation of Paediatric Patients Undergoing Magnetic Resonance Imaging Examination: A Clinical Audit

WCW Chu, WWM Lam

Hong Kong J Radiol 2002;5:176-82

Objective: To evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the sedation practice adopted for paediatric patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging examination in a local hospital in Hong Kong.

Materials and Methods: 120 consecutive children with a mean age of 3.2 years (range, 13 days to 13 years) undergoing magnetic resonance imaging and requiring sedation were audited. The types and routes of sedative administration were recorded.

Results: 105 patients (87.5%) were successfully sedated compared with 15 (12.5%) who were not. In the successful sedation group, 68 patients (65%) required the use of only a single agent via the oral, intravenous, or intramuscular route. Thirty six patients (34%) required the use of 2 agents and 1 patient (1%) required the use of 3 agents. Twelve patients (12%) had successful, but delayed, sedation. A total of 82 children were given oral chloral hydrate. Of these, 44 (54%) were successfully sedated with chloral hydrate alone, and a further 29 (35%) were successfully sedated with an additional sedation agent. Over 50% of children younger than 8 years were successfully sedated by chloral hydrate alone.

Conclusions: The rate of successful sedation in paediatric patients undergoing magnetic resonance imaging examination was 87.5%. We recommend using chloral hydrate as the first line of sedation for children younger than 8 years.