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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000318871.95090.d9
Current Commentary

Prenatal Imaging: Ultrasonography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Reddy, Uma M. MD, MPH1; Filly, Roy A. MD2; Copel, Joshua A. MD3

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Abstract

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development held a workshop on September 18–19, 2006, to summarize the available evidence on the role and performance of current fetal imaging technology and to establish a research agenda. Ultrasonography is the imaging modality of choice for pregnancy evaluation due to its relatively low cost, real-time capability, safety, and operator comfort and experience. First-trimester ultrasonography extends the available window for fetal observation and raises the possibility of performing an early anatomic survey. Three-dimensional ultrasonography has the potential to expand the clinical application of ultrasonography by permitting local acquisition of volumes and remote review and interpretation at specialized centers. New advances allow performance of fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without maternal or fetal sedation, with improved characterization and prediction of prognosis of certain fetal central nervous system anomalies such as ventriculomegaly when compared with ultrasonography. Fewer data exist on the usefulness of fetal MRI for non–central nervous system anomalies.

© 2008 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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