MRI in pregnancy: a doctor answers your questions

MRI in pregnancy: a doctor answers your questions


Women are often afraid that an MRI in pregnancy is dangerous. You must not Worry. Only when contrast agents are used, there is a certain degree of risk.

Radio active rays, high temperatures, loud noises – there are many rumors about allegedly harmful effects of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are circulating. Therefore, it is no wonder that pregnant women, in whom such an examination is necessary are, for example, in the case of suspected circulatory disorders, particularly alert and careful. They fear that their unborn child will be harmed if they were exposed to such imaging procedures.

MRI in pregnancy is safe

The fear of the radiation impact is when most expectant mothers in the first place. Many also Worry about the part to elevated temperatures, as well as the level of noise, the spinning, in a Core, such as the MRT approach, even called the language of is.

The fear of pregnancy, Disposals or physical abnormalities of the child are understandably very large. However, there is no reason to worry, because the magnetic resonance imaging is both for the mother and for the fetus.

About the author

Martin Mack is a medical specialist in Diagnostic radiology and is an expert for the CT – and MRI-diagnostics of all organs. As a partner of the radiology Munich, he forwards the location to the Säbener Strasse on the training grounds of FC Bayern Munich.

That happens in magnetic resonance imaging

In many cases, patients the difference between the different image is imaging techniques computed tomography (CT), x-ray (projection radiography) and MRI is not clear. In the x-ray and CT ionizing x-rays and the Patient is exposed to thus a certain, but very low radiation exposure.

In contrast, be produced in the MRI slice images of the body with the help of magnetic fields and for the organism harmless high-frequency radio waves to make the inside of the body three-dimensionally visible. This means that the Patient is in an MRI is not exposed to any x-ray radiation.

Instead, it is stored temporarily in a strong magnetic field, which is formed by the MRI device. The investigation process, as well as the Position of the patient – he is pushed to a voice in the supine position, the length in the colloquially called “the tube” – is the one of the CT, however, very similar.

Increasing the temperature and knocking noises are harmless

In MRI, the hydrogen protons are stimulated in the human body by strong magnetic fields and in a certain Position oriented. Due to the additional high-frequency fields, electrical signals are generated, which can be measured by means of special coils. By the movement of the particles is recorded in each of the layer images, can be made in the subsequent composition of the individual MRI images of normal tissue and pathological changes visible. In the case of the process heat, which can be perceived as a Patient.

Many patients think that the increase in temperature is harmful for your unborn child. However, this is not the case, because the difference is much too low.

The Scanner built-in, so-called gradient magnets create a kind of knocking noise, which can sometimes be quite noisy. Because the patients in the investigation, headphones, noise-cancelling, many Pregnant women, that could be the sound level of the Baby harmful. However, there is no reason to worry here, because there are no scientifically documented data that would establish such a connection – and by the way, at no time during the pregnancy.

Caution in the case of contrast agents

What experts at mothers-to-be in the MRI, however, advise against, is the use of contrast media, the inflammation or vital tumor tissue may be able to be made more visible. For the vast majority of issues that warrant investigation in the pregnancy, this is a contrast agent clinically, however, this is not required.

The expert opinion is supported by a new, large-scale cross-study that has evaluated Recently in Ontario, Canada, patient data of Pregnant women and their children from about the age of 15. Only the administration of the contrast agent Gadolinium is evaluated for amplification of the MRI during the entire pregnancy as a concern and, therefore, also been criticised. Although the risk of malformations does not increase according to the analyzed data, however, the children whose mothers are subjected to a contrast agent enhanced MRI, in their first four years of life to develop a higher risk of rheumatic or other inflammatory diseases.

The data of patients who received an MRI without contrast, showed no increased risk for miscarriages, malformations, or hearing loss of the children.

MRI in Pregnant – Yes or no?

A pregnancy is never a reason to have a MRI scan. However, the indication for such an examination is not always decisive: If there is no sensible reason for a MRI, should also be arranged. Only if a “core spin” would lead to the assessment of the Doctors to be able to a therapeutic consequence to be derived, such as, for example, is suspected to have a cerebral hemorrhage Pregnant or appendicitis, is the study useful. It happens that an MRI is shortly before the birth, in order to determine whether the child can be born naturally, and on the other hand, any malformations, or heart defects of the child visible and to be able to at the birth to take appropriate precautions. Also, it can be decided whether a specialist, for birth should be taken.

The MRI is today, one of the best imaging method, because an exact figure of the bodies, the soft parts and the bone, as well as possible changes, it is a particularly accurate diagnosis. It is important in any case to take the Concerns of pregnant patients seriously and to reduce existing Fears through Information, in consultation with a physician.