Clinical ReportsFunctional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in Children Sedated With Propofol or MidazolamGemma, Marco MD*; Vitis, Assunta de MD*; Baldoli, Cristina MD†; Calvi, Maria Rosa MD*; Blasi, Valeria MD†; Scola, Elisa MD†; Nobile, Leda MD*; Iadanza, Antonella MSc†; Scotti, Giuseppe MD†; Beretta, Luigi MD*Author Information *Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit †Neuroradiology Unit, Head and Neck Department, Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy Institutional funding received from the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. Reprints: Marco Gemma, MD, Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Head and Neck Department, Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132 Milan, Italy (e-mail: [email protected]). Received for publication January 17, 2009; accepted March 25, 2009 Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology: July 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 253-258 doi: 10.1097/ANA.0b013e3181a7181d Buy Metrics Abstract Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) requires patient immobility and children generally need to be sedated. The ideal sedative agent for functional MRI (fMRI) should only minimally hamper the neurophysiologic effect of the administered sensorial stimulation. This study compares the effect of propofol and midazolam on the fMRI auditory activation pattern in children. Fourteen children in the 3 to 7 year age group without neurologic or auditory deficits were randomly assigned to receive propofol or midazolam for sedation during auditory fMRI. Two patients in the midazolam group were excluded due to positive baseline MRIs. The children were stimulated using a passive listening task. The fMRI signal was modeled using various functions (hemodynamic response function, temporal derivative, and dispersion derivative) to check for the differing temporal characteristics of the signal between the groups. Patients in the propofol group showed activation only in the primary auditory cortex and exhibited a pattern more similar to that of nonsedated adults. Patients in the midazolam group exhibited a more complex pattern, presenting activation areas other than the primary auditory cortex; a delay in the functional response and higher duration variability were also observed. Our sample sizes are too small to derive a conclusive inference. Our preliminary study encourages the hypothesis that propofol is preferable to midazolam to maintain sedation in 3 to 7-year-old children during auditory fMRI because it facilitates the elicitation of a more focused auditory cortical activation pattern with less temporal and spatial dispersion. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.