Imaging the fetal central nervous system
Central nervous system, fetal imaging, prenatal MRI, brain malformation
Published online: Oct 05 2011
The low prevalence of fetal central nervous system anomalies results in a restricted level of exposure and limited experience for most of the obstetricians involved in prenatal ultrasound. Sonographic guidelines for screening the fetal brain in a systematic way will probably increase the detection rate and enhance a correct referral to a tertiary care center, offering the patient a multidisciplinary approach of the condition. This paper aims to elaborate on prenatal sonographic and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnosis and outcome of various central nervous system malformations. Detailed neurosonographic investigation has become available through high resolution vaginal ultrasound probes and the development of a variety of 3D ultrasound modalities e.g. ultrasound tomographic imaging. In addition, fetal MRI is particularly helpful in the detection of gyration and neurulation anomalies and disorders of the gray and white matter.