MRI & Pregnancy

At present, fetal MR imaging should be limited to fetuses with suspected anomalies - or high-risk cases - for additional evaluation of structures that are critical, but not visualized well with Ultrasound.

With ongoing improvements in technology, MRI will continue to be a rapidly growing field in future years. Pregnant women in the second and third trimesters can be reassured that MRI poses no known risk to the baby. Although safety has not been positively established, any hazard appears negligible and is outweighed by the potential diagnostic benefit. A more cautious approach should be taken when MRI is required during the first trimester, and you should discuss individual cases with your local radiologist.

MR imaging used in addition to prenatal ultrasound may provide valuable fetal information that could add to the prenatal evaluation and treatment of some fetal anomalies, particularly those involving the central nervous system. MRI also can be used to diagnose acute abdominal and pelvic conditions affecting the pregnant mother, such as appendicitis, abscess, pancreatitis, pyelonephritis, or hydronephrosis.