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.
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.
T2-weighted fetal MR images are useful for the prenatal diagnosis of bowel malposition, even when they are unsuspected on ultrasound examination.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Fetal MRI, Fetal ultrasound, Bowel malposition