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ACOG Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging During Pregnancy and Lactation


ACOG Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging During Pregnancy and Lactation

The Committee of  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Obstetric Practice has developed  the document on Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging During Pregnancy and Lactation which has been endorsed by the American College of Radiology and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Imaging studies are important adjuncts in the diagnostic evaluation of acute and chronic conditions. However, confusion about the safety of these modalities for pregnant and lactating women and their infants often results in unnecessary avoidance of useful diagnostic tests or the unnecessary interruption of breastfeeding. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, but they should be used prudently and only when use is expected to answer a relevant clinical question or otherwise provide medical benefit to the patient. With few exceptions, radiation exposure through radiography, computed tomography scan, or nuclear medicine imaging techniques is at a dose much lower than the exposure associated with fetal harm. If these techniques are necessary in addition to ultrasonography or magnetic resonance imaging or are more readily available for the diagnosis in question, they should not be withheld from a pregnant patient. Breastfeeding should not be interrupted after gadolinium administration.

Recommendations

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Obstetric Practice makes the following recommendations regarding diagnostic imaging procedures during pregnancy and lactation:

  • Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, but they should be used prudently and only when use is expected to answer a relevant clinical question or otherwise provide medical benefit to the patient.
  • With few exceptions, radiation exposure through radiography, computed tomography (CT) scan, or nuclear medicine imaging techniques is at a dose much lower than the exposure associated with fetal harm. If these techniques are necessary in addition to ultrasonography or MRI or are more readily available for the diagnosis in question, they should not be withheld from a pregnant patient.
  • The use of gadolinium contrast with MRI should be limited; it may be used as a contrast agent in a pregnant woman only if it significantly improves diagnostic performance and is expected to improve fetal or maternal outcome.
  • Breastfeeding should not be interrupted after gadolinium administration.

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Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli

Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli

A Medical practitioner with a flair for writing medical articles, Dr Kamal Kant Kohli joined Medical Dialogues as an Editor-in-Chief for the Speciality Medical Dialogues. Before Joining Medical Dialogues, he has served as the Hony. Secretary of the Delhi Medical Association as well as the chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee in Delhi and worked with other Medical Councils of India. Email: drkohli@medicaldialogues.in. Contact no. 011-43720751
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