European Radiology

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1671–1685 | Cite as

Assessment of cortical maturation with prenatal MRI. Part I: normal cortical maturation

  • Céline Fogliarini
  • Katia Chaumoitre
  • Frédérique Chapon
  • Carla Fernandez
  • Olivier Lévrier
  • Dominique Figarella-Branger
  • Nadine GirardEmail author


Cortical maturation, especially gyral formation, follows a temporospatial schedule and is a good marker of fetal maturation. Although ultrasonography is still the imaging method of choice to evaluate fetal anatomy, MRI has an increasingly important role in the detection of brain abnormalities, especially of cortical development. Knowledge of MRI techniques in utero with the advantages and disadvantages of some sequences is necessary, in order to try to optimize the different magnetic resonance sequences to be able to make an early diagnosis. The different steps of cortical maturation known from histology represent the background necessary for the understanding of maturation in order to be then able to evaluate brain maturation through neuroimaging. Illustrations of the normal cortical maturation are given for each step accessible to MRI for both the cerebral hemispheres and the posterior fossa.


Magnetic resonance imaging Fetus Prenatal diagnosis Fetal development Cerebral cortex 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Céline Fogliarini
    • 1
  • Katia Chaumoitre
    • 3
  • Frédérique Chapon
    • 2
  • Carla Fernandez
    • 4
  • Olivier Lévrier
    • 2
  • Dominique Figarella-Branger
    • 4
  • Nadine Girard
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et MédicaleFaculté TimoneMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyHôpital TimoneMarseille Cedex 5France
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyHopital NordMarseilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of PathologyHopital TimoneMarseilleFrance

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