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MAGMA. 2014 Jun;27(3):237-44. doi: 10.1007/s10334-013-0397-0. Epub 2013 Aug 10.

Fetal blood flow velocimetry by phase-contrast MRI using a new triggering method and comparison with Doppler ultrasound in a sheep model: a pilot study.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany,

Erratum in

  • MAGMA. 2014 Oct;27(5):463. de Sousa, Manuela Tavares [corrected to Tavares de Sousa, Manuela].



We present the first study demonstrating the feasibility of antenatal blood flow velocimetry performing ECG triggered phase-contrast (PC)-MRI in the fetal aorta by using a newly developed Doppler ultrasound trigger.


Five pregnant sheep carrying singleton fetuses (gestational age 121 days) were anesthetized to undergo fetal 2D PC-MRI in the fetal descending aorta (1.5 T) using a newly developed MR-compatible Doppler ultrasound trigger for fetal cardiac triggering. Inter-operator variability was assessed for PC-MR measurements and reproducibility was tested by repeated scans in one fetus. Inter-modality comparison was performed by Doppler ultrasound velocimetry.


Fetal cardiac triggering was possible in all examinations. PC-MR velocimetry revealed a mean inter-operator variability of 3 ± 5%. Average peak systolic flow velocities of 62.5 ± 4.4 cm/s were in good agreement with Doppler ultrasound measurements of 62.0 ± 9.2 cm/s (p (Lord's U test) ≫ 0.05).


Fetal PC-MR velocimetry was successfully performed using the newly developed MR-compatible Doppler ultrasound trigger for intrauterine fetal cardiac triggering, demonstrating high inter-operator and inter-modality agreement. This new method has the high potential for alternative assessment of hemodynamic decompensation of the fetal circulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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