Pediatric radiologist and medical physicist awarded $1.7 million to research fetal growth restriction

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak in Royal Oak, Mich., has announced that two representatives from the hospital were awarded a $1.7 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Luis Goncalves, MD, co-medical director of the division of fetal imaging and pediatric radiologist, and Yuxiang Zhou, PhD, medical physicist at the department of diagnostic radiology, were awarded the grant so they could investigate fetal growth restriction. Specifically, Goncalves and Zhou will be investigating potential ways to identify babies at high risk for growth restriction early on.

“We hope our research can lead to the development of imaging tests that can help us understand what is happening to the placentas of these fetuses early in gestation -- even before growth restriction develops,” Goncalves said in a prepared statement.

The researchers are looking for 200 women in the first trimester of pregnancy to participate in their study. All participants will have images taken, and women who have their pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction will have an MRI taken of the placenta during their third trimester.

“For those with established intrauterine growth restriction, our objective is to find out if evaluation of placental oxygenation by MRI will help identify with greater precision those placentas that are not capable of supporting the fetus,” Goncalves said in the same statement.