Fetal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging: a primer on how to interpret prenatal lung lesions

Niamh C Adams, Teresa Victoria, Edward R Oliver, Julie S Moldenhauer, N Scott Adzick, Gabrielle C Colleran
Pediatric Radiology 2020, 50 (13): 1839-1854
Fetal lung lesions include common lesions such as congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM), bronchopulmonary sequestration (BPS) and combined CPAM-BPS hybrid lesions, as well as less common entities including congenital lobar emphysema/obstruction, bronchial atresia, bronchogenic cysts and rare malignant pulmonary lesions such as pleuropulmonary blastoma. Fetal lung lesions occur in approximately 1 in 15,000 live births and are thought to arise from a spectrum of abnormalities related to airway obstruction and malformation, with the lesion type depending on the timing of insult, level of bronchial tree involvement, and severity of obstruction. Lesions vary from small and asymptomatic to large and symptomatic with significant mass effect on surrounding structures. Accurate diagnosis and characterization of these anomalies is crucial for guiding patient counseling as well as perinatal and postnatal management. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of normal fetal lung appearance and imaging features of common and uncommon lesions on both ultrasound and MR imaging, and to discuss key aspects in reporting and evaluating the severity of these lesions.

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