What is the role of MRI of the brain in the workup of childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019
  • Author: Mary E Cataletto, MD; Chief Editor: Denise Serebrisky, MD  more...
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Answer

A history of severe snoring, headaches, neck pain, urinary frequency, or swallowing problems raises the suspicion of Chiari malformation. Chiari malformations may occur in otherwise normal children and in association with congenital myelomeningocele. If brainstem dysfunction is suspected, MRI is necessary. Cranial CT imaging is not adequate to assess for brainstem and upper cervical cord lesions.


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