JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Foetal brain imaging: ultrasound or MRI. A comparison between magnetic resonance imaging and a dedicated multidisciplinary neurosonographic opinion.

Acta Paediatrica 2008 April
OBJECTIVES: (i) To compare original foetal brain ultrasound findings with a multidisciplinary expert opinion; (ii) to compare the multidisciplinary expert ultrasound opinion with foetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and (iii) to determine in which circumstances foetal MRI gives additional information, and in how many cases management is changed by having information from MRI.

STUDY DESIGN: Ultrasound scans of 51 consecutive foetuses where foetal brain MR had been performed were retrospectively reviewed by a panel consisting of maternal-foetal-medicine (MFM) consultants, a geneticist, neonatologists and MFM subspecialty trainees. The original ultrasound opinion was compared with the multidisciplinary opinion, which was then compared with MRI findings. In the cases where MRI gave additional information, an assessment was made as to whether this changed management.

RESULTS: The multidisciplinary ultrasound opinion differed from the original opinion in 9 of 51 (17%) cases. In 19 patients (37%), the MRI gave additional information to the original ultrasound, in 7 (13%) cases, management, and in 7 (13%) cases, counselling was altered by additional information gained from MRI. The multidisciplinary ultrasound and MRI diagnoses were similar in 36 cases (71%).

CONCLUSION: Multidisciplinary review of an apparently abnormal foetal brain ultrasound can provide additional diagnostic information. When compared with this level of ultrasound expertise, MRI gave additional information in 29% of cases, but only resulted in change in management in about 13%.

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