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Case Reports in Radiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 9801267, 4 pages
Case Report

Fetal MRI Characteristics of Exencephaly: A Case Report and Literature Review

Department of Radiology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 3635 Vista Boulevard at Grand Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA

Received 22 November 2015; Accepted 19 January 2016

Academic Editor: Amit Agrawal

Copyright © 2016 Ali Sharif and Yihua Zhou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present the fetal MRI characteristics of exencephaly, a rare malformation of the cranium. The fetus was initially misdiagnosed as anencephaly at 14 weeks of estimated gestational age (EGA) and later mislabeled as acrania at 20 weeks of EGA by ultrasound. A confirmatory magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 29 weeks of EGA demonstrated findings consistent with exencephaly, which was confirmed after birth. To our knowledge, no full fetal MRI characteristics have been described. We hope to use this case to review the key MRI findings in differentiating exencephaly from other cranial vault defects and to help early diagnosis of exencephaly as the appropriate use of correct nomenclature allows better research while giving parents the most accurate and appropriate counseling.