Objective: To identify those congenital fetal anomalies, previously identified by ultrasound scanning, in which fast-scan magnetic resonance imaging (F-SMRI) would give additional information for the perinatal management of the infants.
Design: Observational clinical study.
Setting: Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology/Resonance Research Centre.
Subjects: Seven women carrying eight fetuses in whom congenital abnormalities had been identified using ultrasound scans. The duration of the pregnancies was 28 to 39 weeks gestation.
Interventions: Fast-scan magnetic resonance imaging at between 28 and 39 weeks gestation.
Main outcome measures: Identification of fetal abnormalities.
Results and conclusions: F-SMRI was of limited value in the diagnosis of further assessment of fetuses with abnormalities of accumulation of tissue fluid. Renal anomalies were poorly identified unless associated with cystic formation of the kidney. Further study is required in the imaging of fetal central nervous system anomalies. Until echoplanar imaging is more widely available, MRI does not contribute to the diagnosis of cardiac anomalies. F-SMRI appears to be most useful in the diagnosis and management of soft tissue gastro intestinal abnormalities.