Fetal MRI: incidental findings in the mother

Selwan B. Abdullah, Kelly R. Dietz, Tara L. Holm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a routinely used tool in prenatal diagnosis; however, there is a lack of studies evaluating incidental findings observed in the mother. Objective: This study describes and quantifies incidental findings observed in the mother during fetal MRI. Materials and methods: We reviewed all fetal MRI studies at the University of Minnesota Medical Center from February 2008 to September 2014. Two pediatric radiologists retrospectively conducted a consensus evaluation. The maternal findings were categorized into neurologic, gynecologic, urinary, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal. Hydronephrosis consistent with the stage of pregnancy was recorded but was not included as an abnormal finding. Abnormal findings were classified into three groups, depending on their clinical significance: level I (low), level II (medium) and level III (high). Results: We evaluated 332 pregnant patients with a mean age of 29.3 years and a mean gestational age of 29 weeks. Of these, 55.4% had at least 1 incidental finding, for a total of 262 incidental maternal findings. Of the 262 abnormalities, 113 (43.1%) were neurologic, 69 were gynecologic (26.3%), 36 (13.7%) urinary, 24 (9.2%) gastrointestinal and 20 (7.6%) musculoskeletal. Of the 262 incidental findings, 237 (90.5%) were level I, 24 (9.2%) were level II and 1 (0.4%) was level III. Conclusion: Our results suggest that although the vast majority of incidental maternal findings are benign, more significant findings are still encountered and should be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1736-1743
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Fetus
  • Incidental finding
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Maternal
  • Obstetrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Fetal MRI: incidental findings in the mother'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this