Overcoming foetal motion using interactive real-time magnetic resonance imaging

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OBJECTIVE: Foetal MRI has become an established image modality in the prenatal diagnosis of CNS anomalies, but image quality can be severely affected by foetal movements. The objective was to overcome these inherent motion problems by applying interactive real-time MRI and to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of the applied real-time MRI sequence in relation to standard protocols.

METHODS: Ten healthy foetuses (gestation week 21·3 ± 0·5) were scanned using a system, which allowed visual feedback and interactive slice positioning in real time. The data were compared to a control group of 14 healthy foetuses (gestation week 21·0 ± 0·8) who had previously been scanned using standard MRI. Comparisons were carried out by two radiologists with regard to cerebral anthropometric sizes, presence of important brain structures, degree of movement, clinical image value, image quality and ability to obtain correct slice planes.

RESULTS: Two out of eight anthropometric sizes were statistically different between the two groups. Representation of cerebral structures was found in 70-100% in the real-time group. No statistically differences were found in clinical image value and image quality. The mean ability to obtain optimal slice planes was higher in the real-time group, but it was not significant.

CONCLUSION: Imaging of the foetal brain using the proposed interactive real-time MRI system is a promising alternative to traditional foetal MRI for anthropometrics or as a supplement for the representation of foetal brain structures in cases in which foetal motion causes challenges in relation to obtaining optimal slice planes using conventional MRI techniques.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
ISSN1475-0961
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2016

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