Imaging Endocrine “Diseases” in the Fetus

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


Endocrine disorders in the fetus are unusual. Still, several glands may be affected. Imaging may help in their visualization in normal and abnormal conditions, most often thanks to ultrasound but in selected cases through fetal MR imaging. For instances, thyroid goiter and its consequences are best demonstrated by ultrasound. Hypervascularisation on color Doppler suggests hyperthyroidism. Futhermore, resolution of the goiter under treatment can be monitored with sonography. Bilateral adrenal enlargement suggests congential adrenal hyperplasia and the fetal gender should be carefully examined as sexual differantiation disorders can be an association finding. Ovarian cysts are very common in the fetus and most often their course is benign. Still, torsion and bleeding may occur. The post evolution is often towards spontaneous resolution. Disorders of sexual differantiation encompass a wide number of anomalies. The role of imaging especially ultrasound, is to help understanding the anomalies by categorizing the phenotype. MR imaging is generally helpful in defining large and complex association malformations.


Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia External Genitalia Male Fetus Female Fetus Ambiguous Genitalia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingErasme HospitalBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Pediatric ImagingSainte Justine Children’s HospitalMontrealCanada

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