New MRI imaging detects pregnancy complications as early as 10 weeks

Written by Annie Lennon — Fact checked by Maria Gifford

Urs Siedentop & Co/Stocksy
  • Researchers have developed a new MRI imaging technique to assess placenta health in developing fetusesin early pregnancy.
  • They found that the technique can reliably predict development complications and pregnancy risks.
  • According to the study authors, the technique could be adapted to most MRI scanners, and thus be used to screen placental health.

Ultrasound is currently used to assess fetal growth and blood flow. However, it is limitedTrusted Source in predicting long-term comorbidity. 

Atypical development of the placenta is linked to many adverse outcomes. These include:

Existing methods to assess placental function are often ineffective or limited in their ability to reliably detect pregnancy risks. 

Recently, researchers developed a new imaging method using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess placental health. They found that their new method could strongly predict pregnancy outcomes linked to placental insufficiency.

“This new methodology provides an additional tool that healthcare providers can use to assess placental vascular function,” Victoria HJ Roberts, PhD, research assistant professor in the Division of Developmental and Reproductive Sciences at the Oregan National Primate Research Center, one of the study’s authors, told Medical News Today

“The ability to detect a placenta-related problem early in pregnancy can create a more targeted approach to clinical management, allowing clinicians to provide better treatment options to mothers and developing babies,” she added. 

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONETrusted Source.

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