Fetal MRI-Based Body and Adiposity Quantification for Small for Gestational Age Perinatal Risk Stratification

Aviad Rabinowich*, Netanell Avisdris, Bossmat Yehuda, Ayala Zilberman, Tamir Graziani, Bar Neeman, Bella Specktor-Fadida, Dafna Link-Sourani, Yair Wexler, Jacky Herzlich, Karina Krajden Haratz, Leo Joskowicz, Liat Ben Sira, Liran Hiersch, Dafna Ben Bashat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses are at risk for perinatal adverse outcomes. Fetal body composition reflects the fetal nutrition status and hold promise as potential prognostic indicator. MRI quantification of fetal anthropometrics may enhance SGA risk stratification. Hypothesis: Smaller, leaner fetuses are malnourished and will experience unfavorable outcomes. Study Type: Prospective. Population: 40 SGA fetuses, 26 (61.9%) females: 10/40 (25%) had obstetric interventions due to non-reassuring fetal status (NRFS), and 17/40 (42.5%) experienced adverse neonatal events (CANO). Participants underwent MRI between gestational ages 30 + 2 and 37 + 2. Field Strength/Sequence: 3-T, True Fast Imaging with Steady State Free Precession (TruFISP) and T1-weighted two-point Dixon (T1W Dixon) sequences. Assessment: Total body volume (TBV), fat signal fraction (FSF), and the fat-to-body volumes ratio (FBVR) were extracted from TruFISP and T1W Dixon images, and computed from automatic fetal body and subcutaneous fat segmentations by deep learning. Subjects were followed until hospital discharge, and obstetric interventions and neonatal adverse events were recorded. Statistical Tests: Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions for the association between TBV, FBVR, and FSF and interventions for NRFS and CANO. Fisher's exact test was used to measure the association between sonographic FGR criteria and perinatal outcomes. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy were calculated. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: FBVR (odds ratio [OR] 0.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2–0.76) and FSF (OR 0.95, CI 0.91–0.99) were linked with NRFS interventions. Furthermore, TBV (OR 0.69, CI 0.56–0.86) and FSF (OR 0.96, CI 0.93–0.99) were linked to CANO. The FBVR sensitivity/specificity for obstetric interventions was 85.7%/87.5%, and the TBV sensitivity/specificity for CANO was 82.35%/86.4%. The sonographic criteria sensitivity/specificity for obstetric interventions was 100%/33.3% and insignificant for CANO (P = 0.145). Data Conclusion: Reduced TBV and FBVR may be associated with higher rates of obstetric interventions for NRFS and CANO. Evidence Level: 2. Technical Efficacy: Stage 5.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


  • fat-water imaging
  • fetal growth restriction
  • fetus
  • small for gestation age


Dive into the research topics of 'Fetal MRI-Based Body and Adiposity Quantification for Small for Gestational Age Perinatal Risk Stratification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this