• Radiologic Technology News

MRI Safe in Early Pregnancy

Sep 12, 2016

Women who undergo magnetic resonance imaging procedures in the first trimester of pregnancy are not at increased risk of stillborn births, according to a new study. Nor do their children have a higher risk of birth defects, vision loss or cancer in the first four years. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined the records of more than 1.4 million births.

“Having an MRI at the earliest stages of pregnancy does not seem to alter the development of the fetus," said the study’s lead author, Joel G. Ray, M.D., of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, in a news release. MRI is generally thought to be safe for the fetus in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, but there were no previous studies on its safety in the first trimester.

The study did raise concerns over MRI procedures during pregnancy that use gadolinium contrast agents, finding a slightly higher risk of the children developing a rheumatologic or skin condition. The study concludes that the results support clinical guidelines to avoid giving pregnant women gadolinium unless strongly indicated.

According to data analyzed in the study, one in every 250 pregnant women in Ontario, Canada, underwent an MRI at some point in their pregnancy, including one in every 1,200 having an MRI in the first trimester

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