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Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Prenatal Diagnosis of Complex Congenital Heart Defects

Prenatal diagnosis of complex congenital heart defects allows for proper planning and intervention on delivery and reduces mortality and morbidity in affected infants. Fetal echocardiography is often limited by poor acoustic windows. With development of an magnetic resonance–compatible Doppler ultrasonography device, high-resolution fetal cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging can be used more readily for prenatal evaluation. This CMR cine image of a fetal heart in the 4-chamber view shows a mildly underdeveloped left ventricle (LV) with normal function in a fetus suspected to have had an underdeveloped mitral valve annulus and an LV with suspected aortic arch hypoplasia and hypoplastic aortic isthmus by echocardiography. This example is one of a case series suggesting that fetal CMR imaging provides valuable additional information to echocardiography and has the potential to diagnose or exclude important abnormalities and thus affect clinical decision-making in instances of suspected congenital heart defects when echocardiography is incomplete or inconclusive. Click the Related Article link for complete details.

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