Our purpose was to evaluate the capability of ultrafast single-shot fast spin-echo MR imaging to assess normal fetal anatomy and abnormalities of different fetal organ systems. Fetal MR imaging was performed prospectively in consecutive 40 pregnant women because of abnormal findings or suspected fetal abnormalities on prenatal US. No statistically significant difference between US and MR imaging was found for the detection of abnormality in any organ system. MR imaging was slightly superior to US with regard to cerebral abnormalities only. In four (10%) of 40 fetuses, additional information provided by MR imaging altered counseling. However, MR imaging of the extremities-face and soft tissues was limited because of the lack of real-time information. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.