What is fetal MRI?
Like ultrasound, MRI can be used to document development of the fetus during pregnancy. Fetal MRI has been around for more than 25 years and has been shown to be safe for the child in long term studies. Since the 1990s, modern scanners have increased so much in speed that fetal MRI can be done without any special preparations or administration of contrast medium.
Fetal MRI can be used to clarify suspected anomalies spotted in obstetrical ultrasound or as an adjunct to invasive fetal therapy. MRI adds precision to and increases the confidence in diagnoses, and is an accepted alternative in patients not readily accessible by ultrasound. Fetal MRI findings are an excellent aid in parent counseling.
What can I expect during the fetal MRI exam?
As for other types of MRI exam, you will be asked exam to change into a hospital gown that is free of metal or other artifacts. For the exam itself, you will be positioned lying face up or on your left side on the scannerís bed depending on your preference. Antennas in the form of flat plates will be placed on your belly. The exam usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour depending on the reason for the exam and the movement of the baby. If the baby moves, the exam will be paused until it becomes still again. Patience is required of all participants in the exam.
Is MRI harmful to the baby?
Long-term observational studies have shown that MRI will not harm your baby. We comply with international guidelines that strictly limit the amount of energy applied during the exam.
Who will inform me of the results?
Evaluation of fetal MRI findings can take several days and involve the participation of numerous specialists. Once the team of experts has reached a diagnosis, it is communicated to the referring obstetrician, who will then contact you to discuss the findings.