Am J Perinatol 1989; 6(4): 418-420
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-999629

© 1989 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Temporary Arrest of Fetal Movement with Pancuronium Bromide to Enable Antenatal Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Holoprosencephaly

Laura Horvath, John W. Seeds
  • The Division of Imaging, Department of Radiology, and the Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
04 March 2008 (online)


The well-known ability of real-time ultrasound to detect congenital abnormalities is often limited by acoustic artifact or fetal position or both. Magnetic resonance imaging can provide superior soft tissue resolution but is vulnerable to maternal and fetal motion artifact. Described and illustrated here is a case of fetal holoprosencephaly that was not of diagnostic clarity on ultrasound. The fetus was paralyzed with an intramuscular injection of pancuronium bromide before a resonance imaging study. Successful fetal paralysis with pancuronium bromide has been reported prior to a variety of fetal interventions for the temporary arrest of fetal movement. The resonance study illustrated here was of significantly superior clarity and improved the accuracy of prognosis and management counseling. It is concluded that in selected cases where ultrasound is not of diagnostic clarity due to acoustic artifact, fetal paralysis and magnetic resonance imaging may be considered.