MRI Measurement of Placental Perfusion and Fetal Blood Oxygen Saturation in Normal Pregnancy and Placental Insufficiency
The placenta is essential for successful pregnancy outcome. Inadequate placenta development leads to poor placental perfusion and placental insufficiency, responsible for one third of antenatal stillbirths. Current imaging modalities provide poor clinical assessment of placental perfusion and pregnancy outcome. In this work we propose a technique to estimate the vascular properties of retro-placenta myometrial and placental perfusion. The fetal blood saturation is a relative unknown, thus we describe a method to simultaneously estimate the fetal blood volume in addition to the fetal blood T2 relaxation time from which we can estimate this parameter. This information may prove useful for predicting if and when a placenta will fail, and thus when a small baby must be delivered to have the best neurological outcome. We report differences in vascular compartments and saturation values observed between 5 normal pregnancies, and two complicated by placental insufficiency.
We would like to acknowledge the Wellcome Trust (210182/Z/18/Z, 101957/Z/13/Z), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the EPSRC (NS/A000027/1) and the Radiological Research Trust.
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