It is a pleasure to introduce this volume, which collects together experience from specialists and clinicians working in many of the leading children’s hospitals of the world.

The field of neonatal and infant magnetic resonance is now expanding rapidly. The technical problems in providing magnetic-compatible equipment for life support and monitoring have now been overcome, and we are now seeing images and spectra from infants of 24 weeks of gestation and upwards. But more than that, there have also been rapid advances in fetal imaging and it is now possible to see a full continuum of normal development.

Much is owed to the early pioneers in this field, such as Jaap Valk and Marjo van der Knaap (Amsterdam), Charles Raybaud (Marseille), Robert Zimmerman (Philadelphia), James Barkovich (San Francisco), Rosalind Dietrich (UCL), Ernst Martin (Zurich), Ossie Reynolds (London) and Britton Chance (Philadelphia), who took a long-term view

and recognised the possibilities of magnetic resonance even before the technical capabilities were developed.

There is a shift in diagnosis from adults to children and almost as big a shift from children to neonates. The normal brain undergoes a quite remarkable series of changes, which can be observed in detail with magnetic resonance, and these present a background for the wide spectrum of pathology in the newborn. Twenty years on, since the advent of clinical MR, there are few areas presenting such new and interesting opportunities as neonatal MR and it is a pleasure to commend Mary Rutherford’s book, which provides a platform and a basic foundation for all those practising and performing research in this field. 

A David Edwards
Professor of Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine,
Hammersmith Hospital, London

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