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2017 » 4 » | Archive » Medical field » Fields » Radiology »

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Fetal Central Nervous System

 
Abstract:

This post is also available in: enEnglish slSlovenščina (Slovenian)

Magnetic resonance imaging is rapidly becoming a valuable additional diagnostic method in regard to the fetal screening process, mainly due to the fast development of fetal medicine and surgery. Compared to ultrasound imaging, MRI has numerous advantages as it can detect up to 50 % pathological changes that would otherwise go unnoticed. The first documented case of an MRI being used in fetal diagnostics dates back to 1983. During the early 1990s, the development of new, ultra-fast sequences enabled a more detailed view inside the uterus. In Slovenia, the first MRI of the fetal central nervous system was performed in 2005. Standard protocol for fetal central nervous system imaging consists of ultra-fast T2 sequences in three planes, accompanied by T1 and T2 gradient sequences in axial plane and diffusion weighted imaging. Numerous research studies have so far suggested that this diagnostic approach does not have any short or long-term adverse side effects for the fetus or its development. Knowledge of normal fetal brain development is of integral importance in interpreting MRI results. MRI is mostly used to confirm and obtain a more detailed evaluation of certain pathological changes detected by ultrasound imaging. Furthermore, MRI is used to obtain information regarding possible additional malformations. The most common indications for MRI of the fetal central nervous system are: ventriculomegaly, posterior fossa abnormalities, agenesis of corpus callosum, cortical malformations, spinal pathology, and complications of monochorionic twin pregnancy

Authors:
Taja Jordan, Tina Vipotnik Vesnaver

Keywords:
prenatal diagnosis, MRI of the central nervous system, normal development, developmental abnormalities

Cite as:
Med Razgl. 2017; 56 (4): 449–58.
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