Prenatal MRI visualisation of the aortic arch and fetal vasculature using motion-corrected slice-to-volume reconstruction
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance volume 18, Article number: P180 (2016)
The antenatal diagnosis of vascular abnormalities such as coarctation of the aorta may allow for more timely provision of what can be life-saving postnatal care. Fetal MRI offers the potential to compliment conventional antenatal assessment of the extracardiac vasculature, which can be difficult to assess by ultrasound.
Using overlapping multi-slice 2D single-shot fast spin echo sequences (Philips, 1.5T, TR = 15000 ms, TE = 100 ms, flip angle = 90 degrees, voxel size = 350 x 350 mm, slice thickness = 2.5 mm, SENSE factor = 2, partial Fourier-factor 5/8, slice duration 468 ms) in a fetus at 36 weeks gestation, we applied a novel GPU accelerated super-resolution algorithm for slice-volume registration to the oversampled data to compensate for fetal movements between slices.
A 3D dataset was generated with an isotropic voxel size of 0.4 mm for visualisation of fetal structures. Using this we were able to clearly show the relationship of the great vessels, demonstrating hypoplasia of the aortic arch and a high risk of coarctation. Following delivery, critical coarctation of the aorta was confirmed. The baby went on to have surgical repair in the neonatal period.
Uncontrolled fetal movement represents a major challenge to more widespread adoption of fetal cardiovascular MRI. Automated motion-corrected 3D volume reconstructions could greatly increase the diagnostic utility of antenatal MRI in the future.
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Lloyd, D., Kainz, B., van Amerom, J.F. et al. Prenatal MRI visualisation of the aortic arch and fetal vasculature using motion-corrected slice-to-volume reconstruction. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 18 (Suppl 1), P180 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/1532-429X-18-S1-P180