MR imaging evaluation of abdominal pain during pregnancy: appendicitis and other nonobstetric causes.
ABSTRACT Clinical diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain in a pregnant patient is particularly difficult because of multiple confounding factors related to normal pregnancy. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is useful in evaluation of abdominal pain during pregnancy, as it offers the benefit of cross-sectional imaging without ionizing radiation or evidence of harmful effects to the fetus. MR imaging is often performed specifically for diagnosis of possible appendicitis, which is the most common illness necessitating emergency surgery in pregnant patients. However, it is important to look for pathologic processes outside the appendix that may be an alternative source of abdominal pain. Numerous entities other than appendicitis can cause abdominal pain during pregnancy, including processes of gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary, genitourinary, vascular, and gynecologic origin. MR imaging is useful in diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain in a pregnant patient because of its ability to safely demonstrate a wide range of pathologic conditions in the abdomen and pelvis beyond appendicitis.
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ABSTRACT: Acute pelvic pain in pregnancy presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Standard imaging techniques need to be adapted to reduce harm to the foetus from X-rays because of their teratogenic and carcinogenic potential. Ultrasound remains the primary imaging investigation of the pregnant abdomen. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been shown to be useful in the diagnosis of gynaecological and obstetric problems during pregnancy and in the setting of acute abdomen during pregnancy. MRI overcomes some of the limitations of ultrasound, mainly the size of the gravid uterus. MRI poses theoretical risks to the foetus and care must be taken to minimise these with the avoidance of contrast agents. Teaching Points • Ultrasound and MRI are the preferred investigations for acute pelvic pain during pregnancy. • Ultrasound remains the primary imaging investigation because of availability and portability. • MRI helps differentiate causes of acute pelvic pain when ultrasound is inconclusive.Insights into imaging. 02/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Sigmoid volvulus complicating pregnancy is a rare, non-obstetric cause of abdominal pain that requires prompt surgical intervention (decompression) to avoid intestinal ischemia and perforation. We report the case of a 31-week pregnant woman with abdominal pain and subsequent development of constipation. Preoperative diagnosis was achieved using magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography: the large bowel distension and a typical whirl sign - near a sigmoid colon transition point - suggested the diagnosis of sigmoid volvulus. The decision to refer the patient for emergency laparotomy was adopted without any ionizing radiation exposure, and the pre-operative diagnosis was confirmed after surgery. Imaging features of sigmoid volvulus and differential diagnosis from other non-obstetric abdominal emergencies in pregnancy are discussed in our report, with special emphasis on the diagnostic capabilities of ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging.Journal of Radiology Case Reports 02/2014; 8(2):54-62.
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ABSTRACT: The appendix may demonstrate a perplexing range of normal and abnormal appearances on imaging exams. Familiarity with the anatomy and anatomical variants of the appendix is helpful in identifying the appendix on ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Knowledge of the variety of pathologies afflicting the appendix and of the spectrum of imaging findings may be particularly useful to the emergency radiologist for accurate diagnosis and appropriate guidance regarding clinical and surgical management. In this pictorial essay, we review appendiceal embryology, anatomical variants such as Amyand hernias, and pathologies from appendicitis to carcinoid, mucinous, and nonmucinous epithelial neoplasms.Emergency Radiology 02/2014;