Send to

Choose Destination
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012 Dec;199(6):1207-19. doi: 10.2214/AJR.12.9091.

Imaging of trauma: Part 2, Abdominal trauma and pregnancy--a radiologist's guide to doing what is best for the mother and baby.

Author information

Department of Radiology, Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104-2499, USA.



The pregnant trauma patient requires imaging tests to diagnose maternal injuries and diagnostic tests to evaluate the viability of her pregnancy. This article will discuss abdominal trauma in pregnancy and the specific role of diagnostic imaging. Radiation concerns in pregnancy will be addressed.


Trauma is the leading cause of nonobstetric maternal mortality and a significant cause of fetal loss. Both major and minor trauma result in an increased risk of fetal loss. In major trauma, when there is concern for maternal injury, CT is the mainstay of imaging. The risks of radiation to the pregnancy are small compared with the risk of missed or delayed diagnosis of trauma. In minor trauma, when there is no concern for maternal injury but there is concern about the pregnancy, ultrasound is performed but is insensitive in diagnosing placental abruption. External fetal monitoring is used to dictate patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center