We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.
30 Jan 2023 - 02 Feb 2023

New Placental MRI Imaging Method Detects Complications Early in Pregnancy

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 18 Aug 2022
Print article
Image: Quantitative T2* mapping during pregnancy can identify placental dysfunction (Photo courtesy of OSHU)
Image: Quantitative T2* mapping during pregnancy can identify placental dysfunction (Photo courtesy of OSHU)

The placenta plays a key role in fetal development and pregnancy morbidity, as well as neonatal, pediatric and even lifelong health. As the primary source of oxygen and nutrients for a developing fetus, abnormal placental development can be dangerous and has been linked to many adverse outcomes, including abnormalities in fetal growth, preeclampsia, which is the development of high blood pressure during pregnancy, preterm labor and stillbirth. The placenta is a dynamic organ that evolves over the course of pregnancy to support fetal development, so poor placental function early in pregnancy can become an ongoing and increasing health concern both to mother and baby. Despite the detrimental impact of abnormal placental development, existing methods for evaluating placental function are often ineffective and limited in their ability to reliably detect risks during pregnancy. In prenatal care settings, most clinicians rely on ultrasound to take measurements of fetal growth and blood flow, but this method is limited in scope. Now, researchers have developed a new imaging method to measure the health of a placenta, which could help clinicians identify complications early in a pregnancy. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging, commonly known as MRIs, and could be replicated on virtually all modern MRI scanners. With quick data analysis, researchers noted that the imaging method could be easily adopted by clinicians.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU, Portland, OR, USA) conducted a study to explore how an MRI could be used to give clinicians a more detailed look at placental health than the traditional ultrasound provides, and to better understand an MRI’s effectiveness in detecting placental abnormalities during pregnancy. Their ultimate goal is to reduce fetal and maternal complications associated with placental dysfunction. The study gathered data from 316 pregnant women, including individuals considered both low-risk and high-risk for pregnancy complications.

The OHSU research team developed and validated an MRI protocol that detects a signal in the blood that is linked to oxygen content. This readout is known as T2*, and T2* values provide key information about oxygen availability and placental blood flow. Oxygen is key for fetal growth and development, so if these values deviate from the normal range, it suggests that something might be wrong. T2* values outside of the normal range could indicate an issue related to the maternal blood supply of oxygen, compromised placental transport or fetal utilization of oxygen.

The study first established a baseline to determine what occurs throughout the course of an uncomplicated pregnancy. Participants underwent three MRI studies during weeks 10 through 40 of pregnancy. Researchers then looked at the ability of MRI to successfully identify complications in pregnancy using the T2* readings produced from the procedures. The study results suggest that even data from early on in pregnancy - 10 to 20 weeks - can be effective in the identification of at-risk pregnancies. Additionally, the MRIs in the study were performed using the imaging protocol developed by the OHSU team that could be implemented on virtually all modern MRI scanners, and data analysis is quick to perform, indicating that this method may be easily adopted and expanded for use across prenatal health care settings.

“Any research that helps us find ways to improve prenatal care is crucial,” said Victoria HJ Roberts, Ph.D., research associate professor in the Division of Developmental and Reproductive Sciences at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, who co-led the study. “Pregnancy can be extremely taxing, both emotionally and physically, especially for someone who is experiencing a complicated pregnancy. It’s exciting that this research has identified a more effective way to detect complications early in pregnancy, so clinicians are able to provide the best care to the mother and developing baby.”

Related Links:

Gold Supplier
Premium Ultrasound Scanner
Fixed Height Radiographic Table
Air Displacement Plethysmography System
Digital Imaging System

Print article



view channel
Researchers used AI to triage patients with chest pain (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

First Deep Learning AI Model Triages Patients with Chest Pain Using X-Rays

Acute chest pain syndrome can involve tightness, burning or other discomfort in the chest or a severe pain that spreads to the back, neck, shoulders, arms, or jaw, accompanied by shortness of breath.... Read more


view channel
Image: Dr. Derek Cool demonstrating the new robotic 3D ultrasound system (Photo courtesy of Lawson Health)

Robotic 3D Ultrasound System Improves Accuracy of Liver Cancer Treatment

Liver cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the world. Surgery is one treatment option for liver cancer, although thermal ablation which uses heat to destroy the cancerous tumor has less... Read more

Nuclear Medicine

view channel
Image: Tracking radiation treatment in real time promises safer, more effective cancer therapy (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Real-Time 3D Imaging Provides First-of-Its-Kind View of X-Rays Hitting Inside Body During Radiation Therapy

Radiation is used in treatment for hundreds of thousands of cancer patients each year, bombarding an area of the body with high energy waves and particles, usually X-rays. The radiation can kill cancer... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: The HIAS-29000 brain PET scanner with motion correction (Photo courtesy of Hamamatsu Photonics)

New Brain PET Scanner Corrects Blurring in Images Caused by Body Motion

Ordinary brain PET (positron emission tomography) scanners are unable to accurately measure the distribution of radiopharmaceuticals in the brain if the patients move their head during the examination process.... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: The new Medical Imaging Suite makes healthcare imaging data more accessible, interoperable and useful (Photo courtesy of Google Cloud)

New Google Cloud Medical Imaging Suite Makes Imaging Healthcare Data More Accessible

Medical imaging is a critical tool used to diagnose patients, and there are billions of medical images scanned globally each year. Imaging data accounts for about 90% of all healthcare data1 and, until... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.