Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 153–162 | Cite as

Digital atlas of fetal brain MRI

  • Teresa ChapmanEmail author
  • Manuela Matesan
  • Ed Weinberger
  • Dorothy I. Bulas
Original Article



Fetal MRI can be performed in the second and third trimesters. During this time, the fetal brain undergoes profound structural changes. Interpretation of appropriate development might require comparison with normal age-based models. Consultation of a hard-copy atlas is limited by the inability to compare multiple ages simultaneously.


To provide images of normal fetal brains from weeks 18 through 37 in a digital format that can be reviewed interactively. This will facilitate recognition of abnormal brain development.

Materials and methods

T2-W images for the atlas were obtained from fetal MR studies of normal brains scanned for other indications from 2005 to 2007. Images were oriented in standard axial, coronal and sagittal projections, with laterality established by situs. Gestational age was determined by last menstrual period, earliest US measurements and sonogram performed on the same day as the MR. The software program used for viewing the atlas, written in C#, permits linked scrolling and resizing the images. Simultaneous comparison of varying gestational ages is permissible.


Fetal brain images across gestational ages 18 to 37 weeks are provided as an interactive digital atlas and are available for free download from


Improved interpretation of fetal brain abnormalities can be facilitated by the use of digital atlas cataloging of the normal changes throughout fetal development. Here we provide a description of the atlas and a discussion of normal fetal brain development.


Fetal Neuroradiology Development MRI 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teresa Chapman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuela Matesan
    • 2
  • Ed Weinberger
    • 1
  • Dorothy I. Bulas
    • 3
  1. 1.Seattle Children’s HospitalDepartment of RadiologySeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Children’s National Medical CenterDivision of Diagnostic Imaging and RadiologyWashington, DCUSA

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