Magnetic resonance angiography of fetal vasculature at 3.0 T


Magnetic resonance angiography has not been used much previously for visualizing fetal vessels in utero for reasons that include a contraindication for the use of exogenous contrast agents, maternal respiratory motion and fetal motion. In this work, we report the feasibility of using an appropriately modified clinical time-of-flight magnetic resonance imaging sequence for non-contrast angiography of human fetal and placental vessels at 3.0 T. Using this 2D angiography technique, it is possible to visualize fetal vascular networks in late pregnancy.

Key Points

• 3D-visualization of fetal vasculature is feasible using non-contrast MRA at 3.0 T.

• Visualization of placental vasculature is also possible with this method.

• Fetal MRA can serve as a vascular localizer for quantitative MRI studies.

• This method can be extended to 1.5 T.

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The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dr. Jaladhar Neelavalli. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This research was supported, in part, by the Perinatology Research Branch, Division of Intramural Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS; by the STTR grant from the NHLBI - 1R42HL112580-01A1); and by Wayne State University’s Perinatology Virtual Discovery Grant to J.N. (made possible by W.K. Kellogg Foundation award P3018205). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study. Parts of the data reported in this paper were presented as an abstract at the 25th World Congress on Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1114 October 2015, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Methodology: prospective, experimental and performed at one institution.

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Correspondence to Jaladhar Neelavalli.

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Neelavalli, J., Krishnamurthy, U., Jella, P.K. et al. Magnetic resonance angiography of fetal vasculature at 3.0 T. Eur Radiol 26, 4570–4576 (2016) doi:10.1007/s00330-016-4243-4

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  • Non-contrast magnetic resonance angiography
  • Time of flight vascular imaging
  • Placental vasculature
  • Fetal circulation
  • Pseudo-triggering