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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2009 Apr;134(14):686-9; discussion 690. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1208106. Epub 2009 Mar 24.

[Diagnostic imaging during pregnancy].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung für Diagnostische und Interventionelle Radiologie, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


If diagnostic imaging during pregnancy is performed, potential risks not only for the mother but also for the fetus have to be considered. Ultrasonography should be performed primarily because it is harmless for the fetus. Other imaging modalities like x-ray, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be reserved for cases in which results of ultrasonography are inconclusive and patient care depends on further imaging. If pulmonary disease is suspected (e. g. pneumonia) chest x-ray should be performed. CT should be considered if chest x-ray is nondiagnostic or inadequate (e. g. suspicion of pulmonary embolism). In patients with abdominal symptoms the indication either for CT or MRI depends on the presumed disease. Every abdominal CT during pregnancy should include an estimation of radiation dose. Dose estimation is not necessary after CT of the chest. In case of pelvic disease in particular concerning the ovaries and the uterus as well as fetal imaging MRI is the method of choice. Contrast media should only given intravenously when a compelling clinical indication exists and the potential benefit to the patient outhweights the potential risk to the fetus.

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