Curious case of MRI scan failure

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4751 (Published 31 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4751
  1. Mike Sury, consultant anaesthetist,
  2. Owen Arthurs, consultant radiologist,
  3. Prashanth Reddy, specialty registrar in anaesthetics
  1. 1Great Ormond Street Hospital, London WC1N 3JH, UK
  1. mike.sury{at}gosh.nhs.uk

A 3 year girl with epilepsy and moderate learning difficulties attended for magnetic resonance imaging. Anaesthesia involved breathing sevoflurane via a laryngeal mask airway. The localiser magnetic resonance image was unobtainable owing to large apparent metallic artefact, despite no relevant history provided. On waking, she coughed out a coin, and subsequent imaging was satisfactory. Her parents then remembered that she had attended her local hospital after a choking spell three months earlier. She had not received a radiograph. Unexplained metallic artefacts occur only rarely in children, and a detailed clinical history is essential before magnetic resonance imaging.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4751


  • Parental consent obtained.

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