Foetal brain damage caused by Zika ‘can be detected by MRI and ultrasound’

Doctors managing Zika-affected pregnancies should use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in addition to standard ultrasound (US), as more detailed MRI images can reveal more extensive areas of damage to the developing foetal brain, according to research presented during IDWeek 2017, organised by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

Dr Sarah B Mulkey, foetal/neonatal neurologist at Children's National Health System and lead author of the research paper, said: “MRI and US provide complementary data needed to assess ongoing changes to the brains of fetuses exposed to Zika in utero.”

The longitudinal neuroimaging study enrolled 48 pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus in the first or second trimester. Some 46 of the study volunteers live in Barranquilla, Colombia, where Zika infection is endemic. Two women live in the US region of Washington and were exposed to Zika during travel elsewhere.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801840603-ADNFCR