Fetal intracranial hemorrhage. Imaging by ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging

J Reprod Med. 1997 Aug;42(8):467-72.


Objective: To describe the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings associated with fetal intracranial hemorrhage and to compare them with ultrasound findings.

Study design: In four pregnancies complicated by fetal intracranial hemorrhage, fetal imaging was carried out using T2-weighted fast spin echo sequences and T1-weighted fast low angle shot imaging sequences and by transabdominal ultrasonography.

Results: An antepartum diagnosis of hemorrhage was made by ultrasound in one case and by MRI in two. Retrospectively, the hemorrhagic area could be identified from the MRI images in an additional two cases and from the ultrasound images in one case. In the cases of intraventricular hemorrhage, the MRI signal intensity in the T1-weighted images was increased in the hemorrhagic area as compared to the contralateral ventricle and brain parenchyma. In a case with subdural hemorrhage, T2-weighted MRI signals from the hemorrhagic area changed from low-to high-intensity signals during four weeks of follow-up. Better imaging of the intracranial anatomy was possible by MRI than by transabdominal ultrasonography.

Conclusion: MRI can be used for imaging and dating fetal intracranial hemorrhages. Variable ultrasound and MRI findings are associated with this complication, depending on the age and location of the hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*