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Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging During Pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 Oct; ACOG

Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, according to updated recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The updated guidelines for diagnostic imaging during pregnancy and lactation include the following recommendations:

  • Ultrasonography and MRI are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, but they should be used prudently and only when use is expected to answer a relevant clinical question or otherwise provide medical benefit to the patient.
  • With few exceptions, radiation exposure through radiography, computed tomography (CT) scan, or nuclear medicine imaging techniques is at a dose much lower than the exposure associated with fetal harm. If these techniques are necessary in addition to ultrasonography or MRI or are more readily available for the diagnosis in question, they should not be withheld from a pregnant patient.
  • The use of gadolinium contrast with MRI should be limited; it may be used as a contrast agent in a pregnant woman only if it significantly improves diagnostic performance and is expected to improve fetal or maternal outcome.
  • Breastfeeding should not be interrupted after gadolinium administration.

Citation:

Guidelines for diagnostic imaging during pregnancy and lactation. Committee Opinion No. 723. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2017;130:e210–6.

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