Complex fetal disorders: Effect of MR imaging on management - Preliminary clinical experience

Fergus V. Coakley, Hedvig Hricak, Roy A. Filly, Anthony J. Barkovich, Michael R. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine the effect of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings on management of complex fetal disorders. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSION: In cases of complex fetal disorders, MR imaging results can be used to supplement or confirm US findings and may directly affect management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-696
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Brain, hydrocephalus
  • Central nervous system
  • Fetus
  • Fetus, MR
  • Fetus, US
  • Fetus, gastrointestinal tract
  • Fetus, respiratory system
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hernia, diaphragmatic
  • Lung, congenital malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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