Real-time fetal magnetic resonance imaging for the dynamic visualization of the pouch in esophageal atresia

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Oct;34(4):471-4. doi: 10.1002/uog.7339.


Esophageal atresia is the principal cause of congenital esophageal obstruction. Prenatal suspicion of esophageal atresia is usually based on the presence of polyhydramnios together with an absent stomach bubble. More recently, visualization of the dilatation of the blind-ending esophagus (esophageal pouch) during fetal swallowing has been reported and proposed as the most reliable sign for predicting esophageal atresia. Improvement of radiofrequency and computer technology as well as parallel data acquisition has greatly reduced magnetic resonance (MR) scanning time, allowing visualization of the fetus in cine-mode using fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (FIESTA). We describe the application of FIESTA sequences in fetuses with suspected esophageal atresia for visualization of the esophageal pouch using MR imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal Atresia / diagnosis*
  • Esophageal Atresia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Polyhydramnios / diagnosis*
  • Polyhydramnios / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Stomach / anatomy & histology
  • Stomach / embryology