BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In several countries, laws and regulations allow abortion for medical reasons within 24-25 weeks of gestational age. We investigated the diagnostic value of prenatal MR imaging for brain malformations within 25 weeks of gestational age. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively included fetuses within 25 weeks of gestational age who had undergone both prenatal and postnatal MR imaging of the brain between 2002 and 2014. Two senior pediatric neuroradiologists evaluated prenatal MR imaging examinations blinded to postnatal MR imaging findings. With postnatal MR imaging used as the reference standard, we calculated the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the prenatal MR imaging in detecting brain malformations. RESULTS: One-hundred nine fetuses (median gestational age at prenatal MR imaging: 22 weeks; range, 21-25 weeks) were included in this study. According to the reference standard, 111 malformations were detected. Prenatal MR imaging failed to detect correctly 11 of the 111 malformations: 3 midline malformations, 5 disorders of cortical development, 2 posterior fossa anomalies, and 1 vascular malformation. Prenatal MR imaging misdiagnosed 3 findings as pathologic in the posterior fossa. CONCLUSIONS: The diagnostic value of prenatal MR imaging between 21 and 25 weeks' gestational age is very high, with limitations of sensitivity regarding the detection of disorders of cortical development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging