We would like to thank you for considering or agreeing to participate in the Fetal MRI Study. The information you can contribute to this study will help us provide pregnant women with the most advanced and accurate information during their pregnancy.
UCSF is one of the few sites in the country that is experienced with performing and interpreting fetal MRI. We have performed fetal MRI since 1996, and have performed a total of over 1,100 MRIs of the fetal brain and/or spine.
Currently, this study has several goals:
First, we would like to see how accurately fetal MRI detects changes in the fetus’ brain and spine during pregnancy compared to ultrasound. While ultrasound is the most commonly used method of monitoring fetal development, its ability to detect changes in the brain is limited. In this study, we are comparing ultrasound and MR images of fetuses to identify the situations in which fetal MRI will provide valuable clinical information not seen on ultrasound. Studies have shown that, overall, fetal MRI is more helpful than ultrasound in evaluating the brain. We are interested in studying just how helpful fetal MRI is for different brain conditions.
Second, we would like to learn how various congenital (inherited) abnormalities detected on fetal MRI correlate with childhood development. Currently, it is very difficult to counsel parents who have a fetus with a brain abnormality, because outcomes can vary widely. By classifying abnormalities more thoroughly with fetal MRI, we will be able to give parents a more accurate picture of what they can expect for their child from a neurological and developmental standpoint. This information will help parents make decisions during pregnancy and prepare in advance for challenges their child and family may face.
Since developmental outcome is a crucial aspect of our study, it is very important that we keep in touch with your family as you make decisions about your pregnancy and, if your child is born, throughout his/her early years.
If your fetus has a condition known as Isolated Mild Ventriculomegaly, we are no longer accepting new patients for this study and will not be offering a second fetal MRI for free. If you have already enrolled in our study on Isolated Mild Ventriculomegaly, then we will contact you to schedule the neurological and developmental assessments after your child has been born.
We would like this webpage to be valuable to you, so please let us know if you have any comments or questions about the structure and content of the site. Also, there is a section on the findings of the study that we hope will be of interest to you.
Once again, thank you for your participation, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Orit A. Glenn, M.D.