What is the role of CT scanning in the workup of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Head CT scanning is a rapid mode of screening and is very effective in detecting hemorrhage with the added advantage of limited sedation need. However, evidence suggests that even a single CT scan exposes children to potentially harmful radiation. [51, 52, 53] Additionally, CT scanning is not a sensitive modality for evaluation of HIE because of the high water content in the neonatal brain and the high protein content of the cerebrospinal fluid, which result in poor parenchymal contrast resolution. [54] Because of these concerns and owing to the superiority of MRI in evaluating brain structures, head CT scanning is not recommended in the evaluation of neonates with HIE.


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