Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Evolution of Assessment of Fetal Brain Function

Marianna Theodora, George Daskalakis

Keywords : Brain development, Evolution, Fetal brain function, Ultrasound

Citation Information : Theodora M, Daskalakis G. Evolution of Assessment of Fetal Brain Function. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2022; 16 (1):66-78.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1919

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 22-04-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Assessment of the structure and function of the fetal nervous system has been one of the greatest physicians’ challenges for decades. Advances in ultrasound techniques and especially the evolution of three-dimensional and four-dimensional (4D) ultrasound have made reality the evaluation of fetal anatomy and activity in real-time and in extreme detail. The process of human brain development and maturation is reflected by a specific behavioral pattern that undergoes changes and progresses reciprocal to each week of growth, mirroring the neurological integrity of the fetal brain. Therefore, evaluation of patterns of fetal behavior during the different stages of growth could make possible the distinction between normal and abnormal fetal neurodevelopment and more importantly facilitate early diagnosis of a wide variety of functional abnormalities of the fetal nervous system. To this direction, a pioneer test introduced by Kurjak; KANET (Kurjak Antenatal Neurodevelopmental Test) uses 4D ultrasound to assess fetal behavior and movements in a simulative way of postnatal neonatal neurological evaluation. Evidence from multicenter studies shows that the test indicates the potential to identify fetuses at risk for neurodevelopment impairment and it is applicable in everyday clinical practice.

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