3D Super-Resolution Motion-Corrected MRI: Validation of Fetal Posterior Fossa Measurements

J Neuroimaging. 2016 Sep;26(5):539-44. doi: 10.1111/jon.12342. Epub 2016 Mar 18.


Purpose: Current diagnosis of fetal posterior fossa anomalies by sonography and conventional MRI is limited by fetal position, motion, and by two-dimensional (2D), rather than three-dimensional (3D), representation. In this study, we aimed to validate the use of a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique, 3D super-resolution motion-corrected MRI, to image the fetal posterior fossa.

Methods: From a database of pregnant women who received fetal MRIs at our institution, images of 49 normal fetal brains were reconstructed. Six measurements of the cerebellum, vermis, and pons were obtained for all cases on 2D conventional and 3D reconstructed MRI, and the agreement between the two methods was determined using concordance correlation coefficients. Concordance of axial and coronal measurements of the transcerebellar diameter was also assessed within each method.

Results: Between the two methods, the concordance of measurements was high for all six structures (P < .001), and was highest for larger structures such as the transcerebellar diameter. Within each method, agreement of axial and coronal measurements of the transcerebellar diameter was superior in 3D reconstructed MRI compared to 2D conventional MRI (P < .001).

Conclusions: This comparison study validates the use of 3D super-resolution motion-corrected MRI for imaging the fetal posterior fossa, as this technique results in linear measurements that have high concordance with 2D conventional MRI measurements. Lengths of the transcerebellar diameter measured within a 3D reconstruction are more concordant between imaging planes, as they correct for fetal motion and orthogonal slice acquisition. This technique will facilitate further study of fetal abnormalities of the posterior fossa.

Keywords: 3D reconstruction; Fetal MRI; cerebellum; posterior fossa; super resolution; vermis.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Fetus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Neuroimaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods*