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.