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Radiology. 1985 Dec;157(3):715-20.

Human fetal anatomy: MR imaging.

Abstract

Twenty-four pregnant women carrying 26 fetuses (two sets of twins) were imaged with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging at 0.35 T following sonographic evaluation. Each study was retrospectively evaluated to determine which of 33 normal fetal structures were visible on the images and which imaging parameters were most useful for depicting fetal anatomy. Fetal motion degraded fetal images in all but two cases, both with oligohydramnios and in the third trimester of gestation. Nevertheless, many fetal structures were identifiable, particularly in the third trimester. Visualization of fetal anatomy improved with intravenous maternal sedation in five cases. Relatively T1-weighted images occasionally offered the advantage of less image degradation owing to fetal motion and improved contrast between different fetal structures. More T2 weighting was believed to be advantageous in one case for outlining the fetal head and in one case for delineation of the brain. In many cases, structures were similarly identifiable (though with different signal intensities) regardless of the parameters selected. The authors conclude that MR imaging of many fetal structures is currently unsatisfactory and is probably of limited value, particularly in the first and second trimesters. However, the relative frequency and detail with which the fetal head and liver can be depicted indicate that these may be areas for further investigation, and the potential utility of imaging fetal fat warrants further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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