Fetal Neurology ClinicMaternity Clinic
Fetal Neurology is the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine that deals with congenital anomalies of the Central Nervous System (CNS), meaning the brain and spinal cord of the fetus.
IASO Hospital’s Fetal Neurology department operates within the Department of Maternal-Fetal and Perinatal Medicine and it is one-of-a-kind in Greece. It has state-of-the-art equipment with 3D/4D ultrasound scanners, as well as special software for recording and studying CNS anomalies.
The Head of the department is Mr. Panagiotis Benardis, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Expert (holder of a diploma in Fetal Medicine from the Fetal Medicine Foundation in London) specialized in the study of fetal CNS anomalies. The clinic collaborates with Ms. Antigone Papavasiliou, Pediatric Neurologist, Head of the Pediatric Neurology Department of IASO Children’s Hospital.
First, a review of pregnant women's medical history and examinations is carried out at the clinic, and then a special focused neurosonogram is performed, based on which the assessment for the diagnosis is provided. Moreover, the need for additional examinations (genetic testing and possible magnetic resonance imaging) is assessed and, at the end, all the data is collected and, with the aid of the pediatric neurologist, an accurate diagnosis and prognosis is provided. The parents and the treating physician are scrupulously informed about the short-term and long-term prognosis, in order to have the best possible insight on their pregnancy.
At the end of each examination, a detailed report as well as images are provided.
The indications for examining and monitoring a pregnancy in the department are:
- Suspected CNS anomaly on the routine ultrasound scan
- Suspected CNS anomaly on the nuchal translucency scan
- Family history of hereditary CNS anomaly
- Previous pregnancy with CNS anomaly
- Monochorionic twins
- Suspected congenital infection
- Exposure to medication possibly associated with CNS anomalies
The fetal neurosonogram is a special focused ultrasound of the CNS (brain and spinal cord) of the fetus. It is performed by a doctor who is specialized in this examination and who can diagnose the majority of fetal CNS anomalies accurately. It is usually performed with a combination of transabdominal and transvaginal imaging, as well as supportively, with the use of color Doppler ultrasound and 3D/4D imaging. This ultrasound is safe for the fetus.
Genetic testing is the study of the DNA (karyotype) in a sample of amniotic fluid or trophoblast obtained by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Genetic studies provide valuable information for both current and future pregnancies. The medical specialist will suggest the type of genetic analysis recommended in relation to the findings from the CNS. For genetic analyses, IASO collaborates with certified external laboratories.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the CNS
It is considered that additional MRI imaging of the CNS (brain and spinal cord) is needed at a percentage of fetuses with CNS anomalies. This examination is safe for the fetus and it is carried out in IASO’s medical imaging department.
In order to make an appointment at the clinic, all previous tests (ultrasounds, genetic tests, MRI, blood tests, etc.) should be sent to the department's secretariat in advance.