Is MRI imaging in pediatric age totally safe? A critical reprisal

Sergio Salerno, Claudio Granata, Marco Trapenese, Vittorio Cannata, Davide Curione, Maria Camilla Rossi Espagnet, Andrea Magistrelli, Paolo Tomà

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Current radiological literature is strongly focussed on radiation imaging risks. Indeed, given there is a small but actual augment in cancer risk from exposure to ionizing radiation in children, it is important to understand what the risk of alternative techniques could be. We retrospectively review literature data concerning possible MR imaging risks, focussing on the biological effects of MR, sedation and gadolinium compound risks when dealing with infant patients. The main concerns can be summarized in: (1) Biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) employed-whose mechanisms of interaction with human tissues are polarization, induced current, and thermal heating, respectively. (2) Risks associated with noises produced during MRI examinations. (3) Hazards from ferromagnetic external and/or implanted devices-whose risk of being unintentionally brought inside MR room is higher in children than in adults. (4) Risks associated with sedation or general anaesthesia, essential problem in performing MR in very young patients, due to the exam long-lasting. (5) Risks related to gadolinium-based contrast agents, especially considering the newly reported brain deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-702
Number of pages8
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Contrast Media/adverse effects
  • Electromagnetic Fields/adverse effects
  • Foreign Bodies/complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/adverse effects
  • Noise/adverse effects
  • Patient Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors


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