Measurements of the normal fetal brain at gestation weeks 17 to 23: a MRI study

Neuroradiology. 2011 Jan;53(1):43-8. doi: 10.1007/s00234-010-0772-8. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Introduction: To obtain measurements of the normal fetal brain before 24 weeks of gestation (GW), a deadline for medical decisions on fetal viability in a large number of countries.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 70 normal MR examinations of fetuses aged GW 17 to 23. The fronto-occipital diameter, the cerebral bi-parietal diameter, the transverse cerebellar diameter, the vermian height, and antero-posterior diameter were measured.

Results: The median, maximum, and minimum values for each parameter were displayed for each individual GW.

Conclusion: The recorded data might contribute to a better assessment of fetal health by providing normal boundaries for the brain growth.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity