Fetal Neuroimaging Update

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Seminars in Pediatric Neurology






© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Objectives: To review the current imaging techniques available for the evaluation of the fetal brain. Findings: Ultrasound remains the initial screening modality with routine scanning typically performed at 18-20 weeks gestation. When a central nervous system (CNS) abnormality is noted by ultrasound, MRI is increasingly being used to further clarify findings. Fetal MRI has the unique ability to provide high detailed anatomical information of the entire human fetus with high contrast resolution. This technique has grown due to the development of rapid single shot image acquisition sequences, improvement of motion correction strategies and optimizing shimming techniques. Conclusions: The assessment of fetal CNS anomalies continues to improve. Advanced MRI techniques have allowed for further delineation of CNS anomalies and have become a cornerstone in the assessment of fetal brain well-being. Those interpreting fetal studies need to be familiar with the strengths and limitations of each exam and be sensitive to the impact discussing findings can have regarding perinatal care and delivery planning. Collaboration with neurologists, neurosurgeons, geneticists, counselors, and maternal fetal specialists are key in providing the best care to the families we treat.

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