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Radiol Clin North Am. 2013 Nov;51(6):1005-22. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2013.07.007.

Imaging of acute abdomen in pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:


The approach to imaging in pregnancy is unique, as it is essential to minimize radiation exposure to the fetus. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging are the chief modalities for evaluation of the pregnant patient with abdominal pain. Use of computed tomography should not be delayed when there is a need for early diagnosis. This article discusses test selection and underlying reasoning, with a description of common imaging features of different causes of acute abdominal pain in pregnancy. Also discussed are current evidence-based recommendations for the use of iodinated and gadolinium-based contrast agents and the importance of patient counseling.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Abdominal trauma; Acute abdomen; Appendicitis; Bowel obstruction; Cholecystitis; Pancreatitis; Pregnancy; Radiation exposure

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