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A systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the contribution of mr imaging to the diagnosis of foetal brain abnormalities In Utero

Jarvis, Debbie; Mooney, Cara; Cohen, Judith; Papaioannou, Diana; Bradburn, Mike; Sutton, Anthea; Griffiths, Paul D.


Debbie Jarvis

Cara Mooney

Judith Cohen

Diana Papaioannou

Mike Bradburn

Anthea Sutton

Paul D. Griffiths


This systematic review was undertaken to define the diagnostic performance of in utero MR (iuMR) imaging when attempting to confirm, exclude or provide additional information compared with the information provided by prenatal ultrasound scans (USS) when there is a suspicion of foetal brain abnormality.

Electronic databases were searched as well as relevant journals and conference proceedings. Reference lists of applicable studies were also explored. Data extraction was conducted by two reviewers independently to identify relevant studies for inclusion in the review. Inclusion criteria were original research that reported the findings of prenatal USS and iuMR imaging and findings in terms of accuracy as judged by an outcome reference diagnosis for foetal brain abnormalities.

34 studies met the inclusion criteria which allowed diagnostic accuracy to be calculated in 959 cases, all of which had an outcome reference diagnosis determined by postnatal imaging, surgery or autopsy. iuMR imaging gave the correct diagnosis in 91 % which was an increase of 16 % above that achieved by USS alone.

iuMR imaging makes a significant contribution to the diagnosis of foetal brain abnormalities, increasing the diagnostic accuracy achievable by USS alone.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-06
Journal European Radiology
Print ISSN 0938-7994
Electronic ISSN 1432-1084
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 6
Pages 2367-2380
APA6 Citation Jarvis, D., Mooney, C., Cohen, J., Papaioannou, D., Bradburn, M., Sutton, A., & Griffiths, P. D. (2017). A systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the contribution of mr imaging to the diagnosis of foetal brain abnormalities In Utero. European Radiology, 27(6), 2367-2380.
Keywords Ultrasound; Prenatal diagnosis; Magnetic resonance imaging; Foetal brain malformations
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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2016
Open Access
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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