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Should MRI scanning be performed during pregnancy?

Pregnant patients can be accepted to undergo MR scans at any stage of pregnancy if, in the determination of the MR radiologist, the risk-benefit ratio to the patient warrants that the study be performed. The radiologist should confer with the referring physician and confirm that:

The information requested from the MR study cannot be acquired via ultrasonography.

The data is needed to potentially affect the care of that patient and/or fetus DURING the pregnancy, and

The referring physician does not feel that it is prudent to wait to obtain this data until after the patient is no longer pregnant.

It is recommended that this be documented in the radiology report and that verbal informed consent be obtained by the radiologist.

MR contrast agent(s) should NOT be routinely provided to pregnant patients. This, too, is a decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis by the radiologist who will assess the risk-benefit ratio for that particular patient.