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Fast Whole-Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Healthy, Term Neonates: Spectrum of Incidental and Birth-Related Findings

Clark, Paul DO; Rooks, Veronica J. MD; Lustik, Michael MS

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May/June 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 371–376
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182867bc2
Pediatric Radiology

Purpose The objective of this study was to describe normal postpartum findings seen with fast whole-body magnetic resonance imaging of healthy, term neonates.

Method We prospectively analyzed whole-body 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging of 53 normal neonates scanned within 72 hours of birth to assess for postpartum-related findings.

Results Increased T2 signal within the subcutaneous and fascial tissues was the most common finding. This pattern was seen in 73.5% of neonates, within 32% of the upper extremities and 62% of the lower extremities. Additional patterns of increased T2 signal were seen in the cervical region, joint spaces, groin, and axilla. Several of these patterns were more common in larger infants. No significant differences were seen between vaginal and cesarean deliveries.

Conclusions The presence of fascial fluid as demonstrated with whole-body magnetic resonance imaging is considered a normal finding in postpartum neonates, likely related to the birthing process of labor and not an indication of underlying pathology.

From the *Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA; and †Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI.

Received for publication August 28, 2012; accepted January 7, 2013.

Reprints: Paul Clark, DO, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, 9300 DeWitt Loop, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 (e-mail:, or

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Defense and the US Army.

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare related to the research performed for this article or its publication.

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.