The use of fetal MRI for renal and urogenital tract anomalies

Prenat Diagn. 2020 Jan;40(1):100-109. doi: 10.1002/pd.5610. Epub 2019 Dec 4.


Fetal anomalies are detected in approximately 2% of all fetuses and, among these, genitourinary tract abnormalities account for 30% to 50% of all structural anomalies present at birth. Although ultrasound remains the first line diagnostic modality, fetal MRI provides important additional structural and functional information, especially with the development of faster sequences and the use of functional sequences. The added value of MRI-based imaging is three-fold: (a) improvement of diagnostic accuracy by adequate morphological examination, (b) detection of additional anomalies, and (c) in addition, MRI has the potential to provide information regarding renal function. In this review, we describe the role of fetal MRI in the anatomical evaluation of renal and urogenital tract anomalies, and we also touch upon the contribution of functional MRI to the diagnostic workup of these conditions.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Cystoscopy
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Fetus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Urogenital Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging*
  • User-Computer Interface