Obstetric MRI

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Jul;24(1):1-15. doi: 10.1002/jmri.20608.


Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice for pregnant patients. However, MRI is increasingly utilized in patients in whom the sonographic diagnosis is unclear. These include maternal conditions unique to pregnancy such as ectopic pregnancy, placenta accreta, and uterine dehiscence. MRI is also being increasingly utilized in the assessment of abdominopelvic pain in pregnancy, in particular in assessment for appendicitis. Fetal MRI is performed to assess central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities and patients who are considering fetal surgery for conditions such as neural tube defects, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and masses that obstruct the airway. In the future, functional MRI and fetal volumetry may provide additional information that can aid in our care of complicated pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System / abnormalities
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Congenital Abnormalities / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / pathology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods