Japanese Journal of Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 7, pp 444–449 | Cite as

Magnetic resonance assessment of fetal lung maturity: comparison between signal intensity and volume measurement

  • Ryo Ogawa
  • Tomoyuki Kido
  • Masashi Nakamura
  • Teruhito Kido
  • Teruhito Mochizuki
  • Takashi Sugiyama
Original Article



We evaluated the associations between gestational age (GA) and lung-to-liver signal intensity ratio (LLSIR) and fetal lung volume (FLV) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Moreover, we evaluated the reproducibility of these measurements.

Materials and methods

LLSIR and FLV were measured using single-shot fast spin-echo MRI in 88 consecutive fetuses. The Spearman test was used to assess the relationships between (1) LLSIR and GA, and (2) FLV and GA in 81 fetuses without lung abnormalities. Intra- and inter-observer reliabilities were assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs).


Overall, GA and LLSIR were significantly correlated (r = 0.62, p < 0.001). However, GA and LLSIR were only significantly correlated during the third trimester (before third trimester: r = 0.39, p = 0.08; during third trimester: r = 0.46, p < 0.001). Overall, GA and FLV were significantly correlated (r = 0.72, p < 0.001). FLV was significantly correlated with GA before (r = 0.86, p < 0.001) and during the third trimester (r = 0.47, p < 0.001). All ICCs were above 0.90.


LLSIR and FLV are useful for the assessment of fetal lung maturity and are highly reproducible. Before the third trimester, FLV is more suitable than LLSIR for the evaluation of fetal lung maturity.


Fetal lung volume Lung-to-liver signal intensity ratio Magnetic resonance imaging 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study design was approved by the appropriate ethics review boards.


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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryo Ogawa
    • 1
  • Tomoyuki Kido
    • 1
  • Masashi Nakamura
    • 1
  • Teruhito Kido
    • 1
  • Teruhito Mochizuki
    • 1
  • Takashi Sugiyama
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyEhime University Graduate School of MedicineToonJapan
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyEhime University Graduate School of MedicineToonJapan

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