Now an acceptable mode of imaging in the neonate, and its use is expanding. MRI is superior to CT for imaging the brainstem, spinal cord, soft tissues, and areas of high bony CT artifact. Supplemental magnetic resonance arteriography and magnetic resonance venography are now available to improve vascular anatomy and flow. In encephalopathic term infants, do an MRI if CT findings are inconclusive. MRI is recommended in the first postnatal week to document pattern of injury and predict neurologic outcome.
Advantages. The absence of ionizing radiation and visualization of vascular anatomy without contrast agents.
Disadvantages. It cannot always be performed on critically ill infants requiring ventilator support, the scanning time is longer, and sedation is usually required.