Fetal MRI is a diagnostic tool used in unique situations where ultrasound doesn’t provide enough information. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses electromagnets, radio frequency waves, and powerful computers to generate two- and three-dimensional images of the internal organs. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays). It is important to remember that although fetal MRI is an available screening option, ultrasound is the primary fetal monitoring method. Today’s ultrafast MRI techniques enable images of the developing baby to be acquired in less than one second. These images are capable of providing valuable information without requiring maternal or fetal sedation. Historically, fetal MRI has been used if a brain abnormality is suspected by ultrasound, but it is being used more often for other indications as well.
For more information, please contact the Center for Prenatal Diagnosis at (317) 415-8070 or the Maternal Fetal Medicine and Genetics Center at (317) 415-8100.