Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 99–107 | Cite as

Factors impacting same-day cancellation of outpatient pediatric magnetic resonance imaging under anesthesia

  • Andrea S. HoffmanEmail author
  • Anne Matlow
  • Manohar Shroff
  • Eyal Cohen
Original Article



Studies of elective surgical procedures indicate that cancellation is common and preventable. Little is known about cancellation of anesthesia-supported elective diagnostic imaging.


To describe the reasons for same-day cancellation of MRI studies performed under sedation or anesthesia and identify patient characteristics associated with cancellations.

Materials and methods

This case–control study was carried out in a university-affiliated tertiary care children’s hospital. Cases were defined as elective outpatient MRI studies booked under anesthesia that were cancelled after the patient had arrived in the radiology department in 2009. Matched controls were identified by selecting the same day and time 1 week before or after the cancelled case. Main outcome measures included demographics, MRI study characteristics, and social and medical factors.


There were 111 outpatient anesthesia-supported MRI studies cancelled on the same day as the assessment (cancellation rate: 4.5%), of which 74.6% were related to family and patient factors, while 22% were related to system factors. Cancelled cases involved patients who lived in lower median income quintile neighborhoods compared to controls (2 vs. 3; P = 0.0007; odds ratio [OR] 3.81; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-12.34). Those who traveled a greater median distance (in kilometers) were less likely to be cancelled (18.8 vs. 27.1, P = 0.0035). Although cancelled patients had a lower mean number of total medical services (2.5 vs. 3.0; P = 0.03; OR = 0.78; 95% CI 0.62-0.98), current medical factors (past 12 months) did not impact cancellations.


Same-day cancellations of anesthesia-supported MRI studies are not uncommon, and the main predictor of cancellation seems to be socioeconomic rather than medical.


Magnetic resonance imaging Scheduling Anesthesia Socioeconomic factors Complex chronic conditions Children Adolescents 



We thank Albert Aziza for his help accessing the MRI database, Maxie Richman and Inam Elahi for their help with data acquisition and Kelvin Lam for providing programming and statistical support for this project. This work was supported by the University of Toronto Centre for Patient Safety, SickKids site.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea S. Hoffman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Matlow
    • 2
  • Manohar Shroff
    • 3
  • Eyal Cohen
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics, Division of Developmental Paediatrics, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation HospitalUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Strategic Initiatives, Postgraduate Medical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology, Hospital for Sick ChildrenUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Division of Paediatric Medicine and Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Paediatrics and Institute of Health Policy, Management & EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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