Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of ischemic brain injury

Prenat Diagn. 2001 Sep;21(9):729-36. doi: 10.1002/pd.135.


The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the usefulness of fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in ischemic brain injury. We report seven cases of fetal brain ischemia prenatally suspected on ultrasound (US) and confirmed by fetal MRI. Sonographic abnormalities included ventricular dilatation (n=3), microcephaly (n=1), twin pregnancy with in utero death of a twin and suspected cerebral lesion in the surviving co-twin (n=3). MRI was performed with a 1.0 T unit using half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo spin-echo (HASTE) sequences between 28 and 35 weeks of gestation. US and MRI images were compared with pathologic findings or postnatal imaging. MRI diagnosed hydranencephaly (n=1), porencephaly (n=2), multicystic encephalomalacia (n=2), unilateral capsular ischemia (n=1), corpus callosum and cerebral atrophy (n=1). In comparison with US, visualization of fetal brain anomalies was superior with MRI. The present cases demonstrate that MRI is a valuable complementary means of investigation when a brain pathology is discovered or suspected during prenatal US.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetofetal Transfusion / complications
  • Fetus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Twins