Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (fetal MRI) is a non-invasive, non-radiation imaging technique that offers detailed information about the anatomic structure of a fetus. Fetal MRI is tailored to address specific questions and concerns about a suspected congenital abnormality.
Fetal MRI is a diagnostic procedure that can provide additional and complementary information to ultrasound in the evaluation of the fetal brain, spine, face and neck, chest and lungs, and abdomen and pelvis (including bowel and urinary tract). It particularly excels in the evaluation of the fetal brain and spine, and can be used to help prognosticate outcome in cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernia and fetal lung masses. A fetal MRI can provide anatomic information useful in planning complex fetal care and, in some circumstances, antenatal surgical procedures.
Fetal MRI does not utilize ionizing radiation. In fact, the use of MRI during pregnancy is considered standard of care by the American College of Radiology, the Society for Pediatric Radiology, and the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Fetal MRI Procedure for Evaluation and Diagnosis: A fetal MRI can provide anatomic information useful in planning complex fetal care and, in some circumstances, antenatal surgical procedures.
Fetal MRI can confirm a diagnosis or provide detailed information for congenital abnormalities including, but not limited to:
- Brain abnormalities
- Congenital lung masses
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia and gastroschisis
- Genetic abnormalities
- Neck masses (including teratoma and lymphangioma)
- Spina bifida
- Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
Specialty-trained Radiologists: Our specialty-trained pediatric radiologists have been interpreting fetal MR images at the VCU Health System since 2015.
Not all radiologists or medical centers can perform fetal MRI. Only radiologists trained to interpret a fetal MRI can review images and provide an accurate diagnosis. Our specialty-trained radiologists are part of a multidisciplinary team that coordinate care for patients and referring physicians.
Meet Our Faculty
Jacqueline Urbine, M.D. and Gregory Vorona, M.D., who have completed pediatric subspecialty training including fetal MRI, are both American Board of Radiology (ABR) certified in Pediatric Radiology.
Prior to joining the VCU Department of Radiology as section chief of Pediatric Imaging, Dr. Urbine helped develop the fetal MRI program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Vorona completed two fellowships at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia including Pediatric Radiology and Pediatric Neuroradiology, which included fetal brain and spine MRI.
Pediatric radiologists complete subspecialty training in fetal MRI.