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Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A New Tool to Optimize the Prediction of Fetal Anemia?

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INTRODUCTION: The false-positive rate in the prediction of fetal anemia is 10-15%. We investigated if a new, noninvasive MRI method used as a supplement to ultrasound could improve the prediction.

METHODS: Fetuses suspected of anemia and controls were scanned in a 1.5-tesla MRI scanner 1-4 times during pregnancy. Cases were scanned before and after intrauterine blood transfusion with a T1-mapping MRI sequence in a cross-section of the umbilical vein.

RESULTS: Inclusion of 8 cases and 11 controls resulted in 10 case scans (2 cases were included twice) and 33 control scans. In controls, the T1 relaxation time was 1,005-1,391 ms; in cases with severe anemia, 1,505-1,595 ms, moderate anemia 1,503-1,525 ms, and no/mild anemia 1,245-1,410 ms. After blood transfusions, values dropped to 1,123-1,288 ms. The mean value in moderate and severe anemic cases was 275 ms higher than in controls (95% CI 210-341 ms, p < 0.0001), and after blood transfusion it was comparable to controls (3 ms, 95% CI -62 to 68 ms, p = 0.934). A 1,450-ms cut-off would have identified all cases in need of blood transfusion with no false-positive cases.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate a potential for this new MRI method to improve the prediction of fetal anemia as a supplement to ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFetal Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2019

ID: 57097000