Jin Yamamura1, Bernhard Schnackenburg2, Hendrik Kooijman2, Michael Frisch1, Gerhard Adam1, Ulrike Wedegaertner1
1Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; 2Philips Medical Systems
Although the fetal MRI has already been applied to almost all fetal organs, the evaluation of the fetal heart has been omitted so far due to technical problems. Usually, cardiac imaging requires electro-cardiogram (ECG) triggering and breath holds of the patient during measurements. Since the fetal heart lies within the uterus, there is no possibility for a direct triggering of the fetal heart frequency. The visualization of anomalies both of the heart and the great vessels is actually of great importance for prenatal diagnostics, though not yet feasible. In this here present study the attempt was to develop a fetal cardiac MRI by using a fetal sheep model and thus to improve the image quality of fetal cardiac imaging. This feasibility study is based on performing fetal cardiac MR imaging by triggering the fetal heart beat in utero in a sheep model.