Role of fetal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in the prenatal diagnosis of migration disorders




To evaluate the contribution and limitations of fetal ultrasonography (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the diagnosis and management of migration disorders.


Over a 5-year period, 14 fetuses with pathological migration disorders, without an infectious context, were taken care of in our centre. All underwent US; nine underwent MRI as well. Sonographic and MRI data were compared with neuropathological data.


The diagnosis of gyral disorders was obtained by US in 1/14 cases; other cerebral abnormalities were found suggesting neuronal disorder in the remainder. Cerebral MRI suggested gyral abnormality in eight of the nine cases.


US performance is increasing. MRI appears to be a promising method for the diagnosis of fetal migration disorders, giving better results than US. It may be recommended in cases of abnormal cerebral US findings or familial clinical history. However, interpretation of MRI can be tricky and the resulting diagnosis occurs late within the pregnancy. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.