Feasibility and safety of perfusion MRI for Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease

Study Conducted By The International Perthes Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies have suggested that perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (pMRI) using gadolinium contrast and a subtraction technique can provide useful prognostic information in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) and allow earlier stratification for outcome. There are, however, sparse data available regarding the feasibility and safety of these studies in children. The purpose of this study was to collect this information across multiple centers using pMRI for LCPD.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of patients with confirmed or suspected LCPD who had undergone pMRI at 1 of 5 large tertiary-care children's hospitals in the United States, UK, and Mexico. Demographic information, type of contrast administered, and requirement for sedation or anesthesia were noted. Records were scrutinized for adverse events associated with the pMRI protocol.

Results: Over the study period, 165 patients underwent 298 pMRI studies. The median age at the time of imaging was 8.6 years (range, 2.5to 16.9 y). A total of 252 scans (85%) were performed for a known diagnosis of LCPD, whereas 46 were performed for a suspected diagnosis. Ninety-two of the 298 (31%) pMRIs required sedation, 48 (16%) required general anesthesia, and 122 (41%) were facilitated by video goggles only. The remaining 36 patients (12%) had their studies performed without additional measures. The ages of patients requiring sedation (mean, 7.2±2.4 y) and anesthesia (mean, 7.7±2.3 y) were significantly younger than those patients requiring neither (mean, 10.2±2.3 y, P<0.001). Four patients (1.3%) reported nausea or vomiting as a result of sedation. Two patients (0.7%) had complications from intravenous cannulation (pull out, difficult access). One child (0.3%) had nausea/ vomiting as a result of contrast administration. There were no serious adverse events as a result of the pMRI protocol; specifically none of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, anaphylaxis, or death.

Conclusions: pMRI is a safe and feasible imaging technique for LCPD. Almost half of our patients required either sedation or general anesthesia to complete the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-682
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2014


  • Gadolinium
  • LCPD
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease
  • Perfusion MRI
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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