Applications of Positron Emission Tomography in the Newborn Nursery

Sujatha Kannan, Harry T. Chugani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET) is a relatively noninvasive imaging test that is able to detect abnormalities in different organs based on derangements in the chemical functions and/or receptor expression at the cellular level. PET imaging of the brain has been shown to be a powerful diagnostic tool for detecting neurochemical abnormalities associated with various neurologic disorders as well as to study normal brain development. Although its use in detecting neurological abnormalities has been well described in adults and pediatrics, its application in the newborn nursery has not been explored adequately. Early detection of brain injury secondary to intrauterine and perinatal insults using PET imaging can provide new insight in prognosis and in instituting early therapy. In this review, the authors describe applications of PET imaging in the newborn nursery specifically related to the detection of metabolic changes seen in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, neonatal seizures, and neuroinflammation in the neonatal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • PET imaging
  • cerebral palsy
  • hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
  • neonatal seizures
  • perinatal brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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