Imaging putative foetal cerebral blood oxygenation using susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the magnetic susceptibility, ∆χ v , as a surrogate marker of venous blood oxygen saturation, S v O 2, in second- and third-trimester normal human foetuses. METHODS: Thirty-six pregnant women, having a mean gestational age (GA) of 31 2/7 weeks, underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) data from the foetal brain were acquired. ∆χ v of the superior sagittal sinus (SSS) was quantified using MR susceptometry from the intra-vascular phase measurements. Assuming the magnetic property of foetal blood, ∆χ do , is the same as that of adult blood, S v O 2 was derived from the measured Δχ v . The variation of ∆χ v and S v O 2, as a function of GA, was statistically evaluated. RESULTS: The mean ∆χ v in the SSS in the second-trimester (n = 8) and third-trimester foetuses (n = 28) was found to be 0.34± 0.06 ppm and 0.49 ±0.05 ppm, respectively. Correspondingly, the derived S v O 2 values were 69.4% ±3.27% and 62.6% ±3.25%. Although not statistically significant, an increasing trend (p = 0.08) in Δχ v and a decreasing trend (p = 0.22) in S v O 2 with respect to advancing gestation was observed. CONCLUSION: We report cerebral venous blood magnetic susceptibility and putative oxygen saturation in healthy human foetuses. Cerebral oxygen saturation in healthy human foetuses, despite a slight decreasing trend, does not change significantly with advancing gestation. KEY POINTS: • Cerebral venous magnetic susceptibility and oxygenation in human foetuses can be quantified. • Cerebral venous oxygenation was not different between second- and third-trimester foetuses. • Foetal cerebral venous oxygenation does not change significantly with advancing gestation.


  • Yadav, Brijesh Kumar
  • Krishnamurthy, Uday
  • Buch, Sagar
  • Jella, Pavan
  • Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar
  • Yeo, Lami
  • Korzeniewski, Steven J
  • Trifan, Anabela
  • Hassan, Sonia S
  • Haacke, Mark
  • Romero, Roberto
  • Neelavalli, Jaladhar

publication date

  • May 2018