Prenatal diagnosis of bowel malposition using T2-weighted fetal MRI sequences

M Kheiri, E Lesieur, A Dabadie, M Colombani, M Capelle, S Sigaudy, B Guidicelli, H Heckenroth, P Delagausie, H Pico, N Philip, F Bretelle, G Gorincour
Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging 2016, 97 (9): 857-61

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to investigate the capability of T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in revealing fetal bowel malposition.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: All fetal MRI examinations (excluding central nervous system MRI examinations) performed in our department from January 2005 to January 2014 were retrospectively studied by 2 independent observers for situs, stomach and jejunum location on T2-weighted images. Patients data were also reviewed for results of ultrasound examinations, MRI indication, and gestational age. Abnormally positioned jejunums were classified into 3 groups: intrathoracic (A), extra-fetal (B) and abnormal intra-fetal (C). Prenatal data were compared to postnatal imaging, surgery or autopsy findings that served as standard of reference.

RESULTS: A total of 709 fetal MRI examinations were analyzed. In 64 fetus (9%), the jejunum was not present in the left subgastric area on T2-weighted MR images. In these 64 fetuses, proximal jejunum was intrathoracic (41/64, 64%, group A), extra-fetal (11/64, 17%, group B), or intra-abdominal but abnormally positioned (12/64, 19%, group C). Interobserver agreement was 100%. All diagnoses for fetuses in groups A and B (52 cases) were confirmed postnatally (41 cases) or at autopsy (11 cases). In group C, bowel malposition was suspected after ultrasound in only 2/12 fetuses (16.6%); it was confirmed postnatally in 1 fetus but not confirmed in the remaining one. In the 10 remaining fetuses (83%), malposition was confirmed postnatally although not initially suspected.

CONCLUSION: T2-weighted fetal MR images are useful for the prenatal diagnosis of bowel malposition, even when they are unsuspected on ultrasound examination.

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