Potential of magnetic resonance for imaging the fetal heart

Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Alice WielandnerVanessa Berger-Kulemann

Abstract

Significant congenital heart disease (sCHD) affects 3.6 per 1000 births, and is often associated with extracardiac and chromosomal anomalies. Although early mortality has been substantially reduced and the rate of long-term survival has improved, sCHD is, after preterm birth, the second most frequent cause of neonatal infant death. The prenatal detection of cardiac and vascular abnormalities enables optimal parental counselling and perinatal management. Echocardiography (ECG) is the first-line examination and gold standard by which cardiac malformations are defined. However, adequate examination by an experienced healthcare provider with modern technical imaging equipment is required. In addition, maternal factors and the gestational age may lower the image quality. Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been implemented over the last several years and is already used in the clinical routine as a second-line approach to assess fetal abnormalities. MRI of the fetal heart is still not routinely performed. Nevertheless, fetal cardiac MRI has the potential to complement ultrasound in detecting cardiovascular malformations and extracardiac lesions. The present work reviews the potential of MRI to delineate the anatomy and pathol...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Fetal Heart
Congenital Heart Defects
Heart Diseases
Magnetization Transfer Contrast Imaging
Antenatal Screening Procedures
Perfusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Birth
Cardiovascular Diseases
Congenital Chromosomal Disease
Counseling

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