Role of Fetal Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Kuberan Pushparajah
  • David F. A. LloydEmail author


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is widely used in the diagnosis and assessment of congenital heart disease (CHD) in postnatal life. However, technical constraints have historically limited its application in fetal cardiology where echocardiography remains the major diagnostic imaging modality. Recent technological advances in CMR have led to its use as an adjunct in the diagnosis of structural fetal cardiac defects. Quantification of flow and oxygen content by CMR allows assessment of changes in the fetal circulation in the setting of structural heart disease in the third trimester. It has an additive role in diagnosing associated extracardiac abnormalities, such as co-existing lung pathology, laterality disorders and brain lesions. These major advances currently serve as research tools but already demonstrate potential to form part of mainstream clinical care in the coming years.


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging Fetal Morphology Vascular Intracardiac Extracardiac Flow Haemodynamics 

Supplementary material

Video 12.1

Axial bSSFP cine image series, equivalent to the “four chamber view” in fetal echocardiography. The original dynamic sequence was acquired over several cardiac cycles, following which retrospective image processing techniques were applied to synchronise images to the correct cardiac phase and correct for gross fetal motion (MP4 5585 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

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