Data on the safety of repeated MRI in healthy children.

Academic Article


  • PURPOSE: To address the question of the safety of MRI for research in normal, healthy children. We examined MRI, neurocognitive and biometric data collected in a group of healthy, normally developing children who have participated in a 10 year longitudinal fMRI study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-one healthy children ranging in age from 5 to 7 years were enrolled between 2000 and 2002 and were tested yearly as part of a longitudinal study of normal language development. Twenty-eight of these children have completed multiple neuroimaging, neurocognitive and biometric exams. These children ranged in age from 5 to 18 years during the course of the study and were exposed to up to 10 annual MRI scans. Linear regression of the IQ (WISC-III) (Wechsler, 1991), executive function (BRIEF) (Gioia et al., 2002), and language (OWLS) (Carrow-Woolfolk, 1995) measures was performed against the number of years of exposure to MRI in the study. Body mass index (BMI) (Ogden et al., 2006) was also examined as a function of years and compared with normative values. RESULTS: The WISC-III Full Scale (FSIQ) in our longitudinal cohort was higher than the average at baseline. There was no significant change over time in mean FSIQ p = 0.80, OWLS p = 0.16, or BRIEF p = 0.67. Similarly, over 10 years there were no significant changes in the Coding subtest of WISC III and height and body mass index did not deviate from norms (50th percentile). CONCLUSIONS: Examination of neurocognitive and biometric data from a decade-long, longitudinal fMRI study of normal language development in this small, longitudinal sample of healthy children in the age range of 5 to 18 years, who received up to 10 MRI scans, provides scientific evidence to support the belief that MRI poses minimal risk for use in research with healthy children.
  • Published In


  • BMI, BRIEF, IQ, Longitudinal, MRI, OWLS, Safety healthy children repeated, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Cognition, Cognition Disorders, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Magnetic Fields, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Patient Safety, Risk Assessment
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Holland SK; Altaye M; Robertson S; Byars AW; Plante E; Szaflarski JP
  • Start Page

  • 526
  • End Page

  • 530
  • Volume

  • 4