Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used routinely in many fetal care centers for the evaluation of the fetus with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Current MRI strategies focus on identifying the type of hernia and its contents, as well as calculating fetal lung volumes, in order to plan appropriately for neonatal support, including the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Single-shot fast spin-echo T(2)-weighted sequences are fundamental, with additional sequences used variably as indicated. We report the case of a fetus with CDH in whom ECMO cannulation was attempted as a neonate but was unsuccessful because of variant anatomy of the internal jugular vein. A retrospective review of gradient echo sequences obtained through the fetal neck and chest showed the abnormality could have been anticipated. During multidisciplinary assessment of the fetus with CDH, consideration should be given to imaging evaluation of the neck to evaluate the cervical vascular anatomy, particularly in cases with poorer prognosis in whom it is anticipated that neonatal ECMO may be an option.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.