Fetal MRI can detect genetic syndromes

Sunday, November 26 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | S5-SSOB01 | Room N229

In this session, fetal MRI’s role in detecting genetic syndromes will be explored, including how atypical temporal lobe asymmetry could be a soft marker for an underlying genetic condition.

In his talk, Patric Kienast, MD, from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria will present findings from his team, which show that the right-left lateralization of fetal brains develops in earlier stages during pregnancy than other neurodevelopmental characteristics.

Prenatal MRI detects temporal lobe asymmetry, with earlier onset of the superior temporal sulcus being typical in the right temporal lobe than in the left temporal lobe. This can be found from 22 weeks’ gestation onward.

Kienast and colleagues wanted to evaluate temporal lobe asymmetry in genetic and neurogenetic syndromes. It included data from 53 fetal subjects with genetic disorders. These included trisomy 13 (n = 5), trisomy 18 (n = 6), trisomy 21 (n = 31), Turner syndrome (n = 5), and Di-George Syndrome (n = 6), all of which were detected with prenatal MRI.

The researchers found that fetuses with genetic disorders showed a higher frequency of atypical asymmetry patterns (47%) than in healthy control fetuses (4%). This included the left temporal lobe being further developed than the right one or atypical symmetrically configured temporal lobes.

The team suggested that these findings could provide evidence of genetic disorders early in pregnancy. Find out what else it reported to draw this conclusion in this session.

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