International Experts Take Part in CS Seminar

Monthly videoconference examines fetal neurology cases

If it's Monday, this must be England.

On the first Monday of each month, physicians at Cedars-Sinai call together the world's experts to discuss a case in the emerging field of fetal neurology.

The collaboration via videoconferencing technology was initiated in January by Siegfried Rotmensch, M.D., Director of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Leading experts from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Switzerland participate with a multidisciplinary team from Cedars-Sinai.

"This is a cutting edge field and the experience worldwide is limited," Dr. Rotmensch said. "It's a tremendously mutually enhancing forum. We are all learning and advancing."

Nearly two dozen physicians from various Cedars-Sinai departments - including Pediatrics, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Imaging, Pediatric Neurology, and Genetics - gather for the 7:15 a.m. fetal neurology clinic, which is held early because of the different international time zones. The meeting has already proven valuable, according to Cedars-Sinai physicians.

"We have already changed the way that we approach certain findings," Dr. Rotmensch said. The conference allows those involved to "get a second opinion, by renowned experts, online, so to speak."

Experts in fetal MRI, pediatric neurology, genetics, ultrasound and neurodevelopment are among those who participate. "It's a very limited number of experts worldwide who take care of these cases, and that's why we wanted to draw on this international expertise," Dr. Rotmensch said.

The conference helped to lay the groundwork for the creation of the International Society of Fetal Neurology at a May meeting in Vienna.

The consortium is putting together a list of recommendations for others in the field on issues such as what tests to do when it looks like a fetus might have a subtle malformation or brain insult in utero, or when the head is "too large," and what constitutes "too large."

"The beautiful thing about this meeting is its international flavor," said Marcel Maya, M.D., interventional neuroradiologist at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center. "The people who participate have dedicated years of study to this and everyone is able to share."

Cedars-Sinai physicians host a monthly teleconference with international experts in fetal neurology.