Multi-modal functional MRI to explore placental function over gestation

Jana Hutter, Paddy J. Slator, Laurence Jackson, Ana Dos Santos Gomes, Alison Ho, Lisa Story, Jonathan O’Muircheartaigh, Rui P.A.G. Teixeira, Lucy C. Chappell, Daniel C. Alexander, Mary A. Rutherford, Joseph V. Hajnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate, visualize and quantify the physiology of the human placenta in several dimensions - functional, temporal over gestation, and spatial over the whole organ. Methods: Bespoke MRI techniques, combining a rich diffusion protocol, anatomical data and T2* mapping together with a multi-modal pipeline including motion correction and extracted quantitative features were developed and employed on pregnant women between 22 and 38 weeks gestational age including two pregnancies diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. Results: A multi-faceted assessment was demonstrated showing trends of increasing lacunarity, and decreasing T2* and diffusivity over gestation. Conclusions: The obtained multi-modal acquisition and quantification shows promising opportunities for studying evolution, adaptation and compensation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1204
Number of pages14
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • development
  • diffusion MRI
  • placenta
  • postprocessing
  • pregnancy complications
  • relaxometry


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