Fetal Imaging

At Children’s National, fetal imaging is the backbone of our program. Our team includes internationally renowned imaging experts who specialize in accurately diagnosing congenital conditions. We perform 600 ultrasounds, 500 fetal magnetic resonance imaging tests, and 2,500 fetal echocardiogram scans every year.

Fetal Imaging and Testing at Children’s National Health System

We offer a comprehensive range of imaging tests. This allows us to capture the most detailed images of your growing baby. You can be assured we use the lowest necessary level of radiation, which makes all of our tests safe for you and your baby.

We offer a broad range of imaging tests, including:

  • Fetal ultrasound: Using high frequency sound waves, this test helps us examine how your baby is growing. This is usually the first test we use to diagnose congenital conditions. Learn more about fetal ultrasound.
  • Two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiography: We use this ultrasound test for examining your baby’s heart structures. Learn more about fetal echocardiogram.
  • Doppler echocardiography: This test allows us to observe and measure blood flow within your baby’s heart. Learn more about advanced testing and care for heart conditions available through our Fetal Heart Program.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide different information about body structures than can be seen with other imaging tests. Learn more about fetal magnetic resonance imaging.

We use information from fetal imaging tests to develop the best treatment plan. Learn more about prenatal diagnosis and care and neonatal care.

Fetal Medicine Institute: Advanced Fetal Brain Imaging Capabilities

As one of few centers in the world with a fetal neuroradiology team, our pioneering research helps us develop advanced techniques for diagnosing fetal brain development problems. Supported by our very own Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Laboratory, Children’s National is the one of few programs worldwide offering advanced fetal brain MRI analysis. Our efforts to identify the earliest signs of brain development issues are helping us pioneer new techniques for fetal brain evaluation and treatment. 

Highlights of our capabilities include:
  • Volumetric three-dimensional (3-D) MRI analysis: This analysis provides an automated, 3-D measurement of your baby’s total brain volume as well as the volume of specific brain tissue types. If your baby’s brain or tissue volume isn’t within a normal range, this could be sign of a congenital condition.
  • Proton MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS): This complicated technique measures levels of specific brain chemicals and compares them to healthy babies of similar gestational age. We are one of a few centers worldwide capable of gathering these measurements.  

Contact Us

For more information or to make an appointment, call us at 202-476-7409 or meet the team.