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Medical Student Capstone Project

Recent UMass Medical School graduate Tharakeswari Selvakumar, MD, PhD completed work on her Capstone Project with Radiology Faculty members Farhana R. Riaz, MD, Jean-Marc Gauguet, MD PhD and Carolynn M. DeBenedectis, MD. Thara's project was titled "A Retrospective evaluation of the impact of fetal MR imaging on prognosis and referral patterns for intrauterine fetal anomalies."

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Capstone Projects were presented online. Dr. Slevakumar was scheduled for an oral presentation which she presented virtually. Below are the Results and Future Considerations listed in her slides. View this PDF file to see the full presentation. Dr. Selvakumar will begin a residency this July in Internal Medicine at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School.

Results Summary

  • Fetal MR imaging demonstrated positive outcomes in patient management in a majority of cases
  • Karyotyping and pregnancy marker tests: did not contribute significant impact in prenatal diagnosis in most cases in this study
  • UMass was a patient-preferred site in managing pregnancies complicated by fetal anomalies

Future Considerations

  • Recommendations for follow up MRIs
    • Diagnostic accuracy of US tends to get less optimal with increasing gestational age,
    • Whereas in the case of MRI, it gets better with increasing gestational age
  • Health economics analyses
    • Considering costs of ultrasound, blood tests, amniocentesis and fetal MRI
    • For the most accurate, cost-effective and least invasive patient management strategy
  • Evaluate the possibility of performing fetal MRI on fetuses at increased risk of brain abnormalities (or other organ system anomalies) despite normal ultrasound findings
  • Future studies where postnatal outcomes information is also available to evaluate the impact of using the different testing modalities

Tharakeswari Selakuma, MD, PhD Capstone Methods