For Six Years They Have Been Devoted to Preventing Birth Defects

A Child with Birth Defects Is Born Every 33 Seconds

According to the National Stocktaking Report on Birth Defect Prevention (2012) issued by China’s Ministry of Health, China has one of the highest rates of birth defects in the world at 5.6%, and about 900,000 children are born with birth defects every year. At present, there are 8,000~10,000 known human birth defects. Preventing birth defects is a major medical issue worldwide, which is necessary to maintain people's health.


Birth defects can put heavy mental and financial burdens on families, adversely and seriously affecting their happiness and quality of life.


"Families are under much more mental pressure than economic pressure. A sick child that needs long-term medical attention would be a huge burden to a family." Yang Wenzhong, Director of Medical Imaging Department, Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei, explained the burden of children with birth defects on families.

"Special Consultation"

Every Wednesday afternoon since 2016, Director Yang attends a most rigorous “special consultation” where experts from different departments, relying on their rich diagnostic experience and high judgement ability, consult on difficult fetal diseases.


 

This is the Hubei Prenatal Diagnosis Center established under the leadership of Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei. The center is known as the "high court" for fetuses in Hubei Province, and MR diagnoses provide very vital evidence in the "trial". When ultrasound fails to provide accurate and definitive findings, MR plays a decisive role.

Decisive and Vital Evidence

Prenatal imaging includes prenatal ultrasound and fetal MR. MR was used in prenatal diagnosis nearly 30 years later than ultrasound. MR’s advantages are wide ranges of imaging, high resolution of soft tissues, free of radiation and non-invasion. It can not only confirm ultrasound findings, but also provide more information, and accurately diagnose some fetal anomalies that are difficult to be identified by ultrasound. Therefore, it is an important means to prevent and control birth defects.

 

Fetal MR is often one of the best options for making a definitive diagnosis in rare cases of malpresentations or difficult ultrasound imaging. In particular, it is increasingly recognized for its value in the diagnosis of central nervous system malformations, such as neuronal migration disorders, by providing more valuable information for clinical practice. In the case of congenital anomalies of the fetal spinal cord and spine, fetal MR can further confirm ultrasound findings as an important complement.

Clinical data: 36.1 weeks of gestation; ultrasound shows a cystic structure behind the third ventricle of the fetus (arachnoid cyst to be ruled out)

 

Clinical data: 28.5 weeks of gestation; ultrasound shows abnormal vertebral bodies echo of the fetus’ spine

Imaging diagnosis: Hypoplasia of multiple thoracic vertebrae with scoliosis

Case source: Jiedaokou Hospital and Optics Valley Hospital of Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei

 

Centering on this major medical issue, United Imaging has worked with many departments of Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei to promote the precise prevention and treatment of birth defects, make innovations in fetal early screening technology, popularize new modes of early screening and study fetal development and anomalies, jointly promoting medical innovation & exploration and clinical application throughout pregnancy.

Yang Wenzhong
Director of Medical Imaging Department, Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei
“In my 20 years of clinical research on fetal MR, I have seen many people’s stories. I’m deeply aware of my bounden responsibility and obligation. Fetal MR is playing an increasingly important role in the prevention and treatment of birth defects, benefiting more patients and the society.”
Wang Yuhong
Deputy Director of Child Healthcare Department, Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei
“Birth defects are so damaging that they can leave a family on the brink of collapse. At the national level, birth defects can adversely affect the overall quality of the population. We should carry out three-level prevention and take proper measures in prevention, screening, management and treatment to effectively reduce the rate of birth defects and gradually improve the quality of the newborn population and the health of children.”
Deng Lingli
Technician in Charge of Medical Imaging Department, Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Hubei
“Many pregnant women are sensitive to the word ‘nuclear’ in nuclear magnetic resonance. In fact, MR is a purely physical and non-invasive procedure without radiation. There is no need to worry about radiation to the fetus.”