JAMA Neurology (09/08/20) doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3263
Sheth, Kevin N.; Mazurek, Mercy H.; Yuen, Matthew M.; et al.
A recent study demonstrates the successful use of low-field, portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for bedside neuroimaging in an intensive care setting. The cohort study involved a series of 50 patients imaged with the portable device, including individuals with ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, and COVID-19 and altered mental status. The patients were admitted to the neuroscience or COVID-19 intensive care units (ICUs) at Yale New Haven Hospital, in New Haven, CT, from Oct. 30, 2019, to May 20, 2020. The portable, point-of-care system detected neuroimaging findings in 29 of 30 patients without COVID-19 (97%); the findings agreed with conventional radiology findings in all but one case. In addition, the bedside MRI device detected abnormal neurologic findings in 8 of 20 patients with COVID-19 (40%). For the COVID-19 patients who received conventional imaging, the MRI readings were all in agreement with the radiology reports. There were no reports of adverse events or complications related to use of the portable MRI in an ICU. The investigators recommend that additional studies examine brain pathology at fixed points in a multicenter validation study, noting the use of low-field, portable MRI “may hold promise for portable assessment of neurological injury in other scenarios, including the emergency department, mobile stroke units, and resource-limited environments.”