Anesthetic-Related Neurotoxicity and Neuroimaging in Children: A Call for Conversation

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Abstract

Each year millions of young children undergo procedures requiring sedation or general anesthesia. An increasing proportion of the anesthetics used are provided to optimize diagnostic imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging. Concern regarding the neurotoxicity of sedatives and anesthetics has prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to change labeling of anesthetics and sedative agents warning against repeated or prolonged exposure in young children. This review aims to summarize the risk of anesthesia in children with an emphasis on anesthetic-related neurotoxicity, acknowledge the value of pediatric neuroimaging, and address this call for conversation.

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