Ultrasound Guided Prostate Biopsy
What is an ultrasound guided prostate biopsy? An ultrasound guided prostate biopsy is a procedure where a special needle is…Read more
Foetal MRI may complement ultrasound examination when detailed evaluation is required of intracranial and intrathoracic structures. It is also valuable when planning ante- or early postnatal surgical foetal intervention (e.g. in spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernias, neck masses obstructing the airway). Unlike ultrasound, foetal MRI is not impaired by bone or gas in the foetal skeleton or maternal abdomen. It provides better contrast resolution and a larger field of view than conventional ultrasound.
Foetal MRI images are visually easier than corresponding ultrasound images for people who are not foetal imaging specialists to understand. For this reason, they can be helpful for families seeking to understand the anatomy of a complex foetal problem.
Foetal MRI tests are used to help clarify unanswered questions after evaluation of a pregnancy at a multidisciplinary foetal medicine unit.
It should therefore only be requested after comprehensive tertiary level clinical and ultrasound assessment of the mother and foetus.
Foetal MRI must not be carried out in the first trimester of pregnancy, because diagnosis accuracy is less at that time.
As in all MRI examinations, should the mother have any implants (e.g. stents, pacemaker), these must be proven to be MRI compatible before the examination. The usual precautions with respect to metallic foreign bodies (such as body piercings) apply.
Contrast agents are not administered during foetal MRI, as they cross the placenta and are recycled in the foetus by urinary excretion and swallowing of the amniotic fluid. When MRI is carried out for urgent maternal indications, contrast agents may still be given as the benefit outweighs the risk.
Foetal MRI has no known adverse effect on either the mother or the foetus.
Ultrasound examination remains the primary modality for imaging the foetus in utero. The advantages of ultrasound over MRI are its wide availability, superior spatial resolution and it being unaffected by foetal movement. Being a real-time examination, it also provides functional data, including Doppler evaluation.
Page last modified on 26/7/2017.
RANZCR® is not aware that any person intends to act or rely upon the opinions, advices or information contained in this publication or of the manner in which it might be possible to do so. It issues no invitation to any person to act or rely upon such opinions, advices or information or any of them and it accepts no responsibility for any of them.
RANZCR® intends by this statement to exclude liability for any such opinions, advices or information. The content of this publication is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and his/her doctor. Some of the tests and procedures included in this publication may not be available at all radiology providers.
RANZCR® recommends that any specific questions regarding any procedure be discussed with a person's family doctor or medical specialist. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, RANZCR®, its Board, officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use, or interpretation. Each person should rely on their own inquires before making decisions that touch their own interests.