Computer-assisted imaging of the fetus with magnetic resonance imaging

Comput Med Imaging Graph. Nov-Dec 1996;20(6):491-6. doi: 10.1016/s0895-6111(96)00045-6.


The purpose of this paper is to review the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the fetus and to propose future techniques and applications. Institutional review board approved MR images of the fetus were acquired in 66 patients with sonographically suspected fetal abnormalities. Axial, coronal, and sagittal short TR, short TE images were obtained. In addition, 12 studies were performed with rapid scans requiring 700-1200 ms using either GRASS or Spoiled GRASS techniques. Sequential studies demonstrating fetal motion were also performed. Three studies with 3D IR prepped GRASS were performed. These allowed for orthogonal and non-orthogonal reformatted views and 3D display. Normal fetal structures were shown with MRI, including brain, heart, liver, stomach, intestines, and bladder. Gross fetal anomalies could generally be demonstrated with MRI. MRI may give additional information to that of sonography in fetal anomalies, particularly those involving the central nervous system, and in the detection of fat, blood, and meconium. MRI of the fetus can demonstrate normal and abnormal structures. Newer techniques with faster imaging will allow for greater possibility of computer assisted manipulation of data.

MeSH terms

  • Fetus / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis