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Radiology. 1999 Dec;213(3):691-6.

Complex fetal disorders: effect of MR imaging on management--preliminary clinical experience.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0628, USA.



To determine the effect of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings on management of complex fetal disorders.


MR imaging of the fetus was performed in 25 consecutive pregnant patients referred because of possible complex fetal disorders suspected on the basis of ultrasonographic (US) findings. Spoiled gradient-echo and single-shot rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement MR imaging were performed in multiple planes anatomic to the fetus during maternal breath holding.


In the fetuses in 24 of 25 women, MR studies were technically satisfactory. MR imaging directly influenced fetal care in four (17%) of 24 cases by demonstrating congenital high airway obstruction syndrome, congenital hemochromatosis, unilateral cerebellar deficiency in association with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and severe facial disfigurement due to a giant anterior neck mass. In eight (33%) cases, MR imaging provided supplementary findings, but did not affect fetal care. In 12 (50%) cases, MR imaging results confirmed US findings.


In cases of complex fetal disorders, MR imaging results can be used to supplement or confirm US findings and may directly affect management.

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