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Eur J Radiol. 2008 Nov;68(2):214-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.06.031. Epub 2008 Sep 14.

Prenatal ultrasound and fetal MRI: the comparative value of each modality in prenatal diagnosis.

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Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


Fetal MRI is used with increasing frequency as an adjunct to ultrasound (US) in prenatal diagnosis. In this review, we discuss the relative value of both prenatal US and MRI in evaluating fetal and extra-fetal structures for a variety of clinical indications. Advantages and disadvantages of each imaging modality are addressed. In summary, MRI has advantages in demonstrating pathology of the brain, lungs, complex syndromes, and conditions associated with reduction of amniotic fluid. At present, US is the imaging method of choice during the first trimester, and in the diagnosis of cardiovascular abnormalities, as well as for screening. In some conditions, such as late gestational age, increased maternal body mass index, skeletal dysplasia, and metabolic disease, neither imaging method may provide sufficient diagnostic information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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