Fetal imaging gives our specialists an accurate picture of a baby inside the womb and allows for early diagnosis and treatment plans. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital pediatric radiologists work closely alongside our Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists to provide comprehensive prenatal and fetal care to families throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond. We offer a variety of tests to measure fetal growth, screen for birth defects and perform detailed scans for congenital concerns.
Our fetal imaging services include:
Detailed fetal ultrasound
A detailed fetal ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to capture images of a fetus inside the womb. These ultrasounds are a safe way to check the health of an unborn baby and help the provider evaluate a baby’s growth. The ultrasound can be done on a mother’s abdomen or vaginally. During this detailed scan, our specialists examine every inch of a baby’s anatomy, including every finger, every toe, the ears, eyes and nose. The ultrasound is performed in the second trimester and can last up to two hours.
A fetal echocardiogram is an ultrasound that captures detailed images of a baby’s heart inside the womb. This ultrasound is also called a fetal echo and examines the structure and function of the heart. These ultrasounds help trained specialists identify and diagnose congenital heart defects before birth. A fetal echocardiogram can be performed as early as 12 weeks gestation and usually takes 45 to 60 minutes to perform.
Fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A fetal MRI uses a magnetic field instead of radiation to capture photos of a fetus inside the womb. This noninvasive test is performed during the second or third trimester of pregnancy and is used to evaluate the baby’s brain, spine and body. A fetal MRI offers high-resolution images and can provide further detailed information used to confirm a fetal ultrasound diagnosis. The fetal MRI usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
Low-dose fetal CT scan
A low-dose fetal CT scan provides specialists with a detailed three-dimensional scan of a baby’s anatomy inside the womb. The superior detail of this scan can help specialists make a diagnosis that may not show on an ultrasound, such as skeletal dysplasia, which is often difficult to diagnose. This scan is performed during the second or third trimester and usually lasts about 30 minutes.