Aim: To evaluate the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnosis of fetal anomalies at 18–20 weeks of gestation.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed fetal MRI examinations done during June 2014–May 2018. There were 23 referrals for fetuses at 18–20 weeks gestation, out of the total 330 referrals for fetal anomaly evaluation. The MR images were read independently by two radiologists. When there was discrepancy in the diagnosis, the final diagnosis was arrived by consensus.
Results: There were 23 examinations for fetuses at 18–20 weeks of gestational age that showed 27 anomalies. This included 22 central nervous system (CNS), 2 thoracic, 1 gastrointestinal, 1 genitourinary, and 1 miscellaneous anomalies. In the 23 pregnant women, termination of pregnancy was carried out in 18 and three women were managed conservatively. Follow-up was lost in two women.
Conclusion: MRI is a complementary tool to ultrasound in the evaluation of fetal anomalies. With advancement of MRI scanner technology and growth of knowledge, more number of anomalies can be diagnosed at or before 20 weeks gestational age.
Clinical significance: Diagnosing fetal anomalies at or before 20 weeks by MRI is challenging because of increased fetal movements and small size of the fetus. However, improved techniques may facilitate early detection. This becomes a necessity in some countries where elective termination of pregnancy is allowed only up to 20 weeks. This article highlights that MRI can also provide additional information on select cases during 18–20 weeks.