Video of Human Childbirth in an MRI

In December 2010, The Daily Mail reported that a woman had given birth in an magnetic resonance imaging machine in Germany. Now a video and a detailed account of the delivery is available in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. [Same video - patient supine]

The woman’s birth as documented in AJOG:

In November 2010, a 24 year old gravida 2, para 2 woman at 37 5/7 weeks of gestation was admitted with regular contractions to the Department of Obstetrics of the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany. The patient received an epidural and was transferred to the open MRI suite. In addition, the cervix was fully dilated, and the presenting part was engaged. Eight MRI studies were performed over a period of 45 minutes: 7 antepartum studies and 1 postpartum study. First, the woman was examined in the supine position with legs outstretched. In the active second stage, when the mother began expulsive efforts with the valsalva manoeuver, her legs were slightly abducted and supported by padding. This period was evaluated by real-time cinematic MRI series.

A 2585 gram appropriate-for-gestational age boy with Apgar scores of 9, 9, and 10 at 1, 5, and 10 minutes. Umbilical and umbilical vein pH measurements are routinely assessed as part of our daily practice. However, because of technical difficulties with the umbilical artery blood sample in this case, only the umbilical vein pH was available, which was 7.32. A neonatologist assessed the condition of the baby. Immediately after childbirth, the maternal anatomy was imaged before and after expulsion of the placenta, using a BFFE sequence. The total individual study time in the magnet room was less than 1 hour. The woman tolerated the discomfort during labor well and her postpartum course was uneventful. She was discharged with her newborn 2 days after delivery. The pediatric screening examinations, including auditory tests, did not reveal any abnormalities.


SOURCE: Bamberg C, Rademacher G, Güttler F, et al. Human birth observed in real-time open magnetic resonance imaging. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012;206:505.e1-6.