Objective: The objective of this article is to describe the use of transvaginal 3D ultrasound in prenatal neuroimaging and to investigate its clinical usefulness.
Methods: Firstly, 18 fetuses with hydrocephalus, ventriculomegaly and/or space occupying lesion were examined by transvaginal 3D sonography, and fetal CNS abnormalities were evaluated. Multiplanar image analysis and volumetric assessment were performed off-line. Longitudinal volume changes of target structure were evaluated, and usefulness of transvaginal 3D ultrasound was evaluated. Secondly, in 56 normal cephalic fetuses of between 18 and 32 weeks, 3D Doppler volume acquisition and reconstruction of the intracranial vascular structure were performed.
Results: Longitudinal changing appearance in the same cutting section of the enlarged ventricle or cystic lesion could be demonstrated in all cases and volumetric assessment was also successful in all cases. Longitudinal objective data were useful in the brain assessment, consultation and counselling. 3D Doppler acquisition time was 5.6–26 seconds and symmetrical 3D-reconstruction was successful in 51.8 %.
Conclusion: Transvaginal 3D imaging technology provides us with not only comprehensive intracranial images in exactly the right sections, but also with objective volume data. Prenatal information with objective data analyses is useful in consultation for both specialists and parents, and leads to proper management of CNS diseases.
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