Normal MRI abdomen in pregnancy

Case contributed by Dr Vikas Shah


18/40 pregnant. Lower abdominal pain.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female



Intrauterine pregnancy confirmed but not interrogated in detail. The appendix is not clearly identified. However, there are no signs of acute appendicitis with no edema or free fluid near the cecal pole, and no focus of abnormal restriction diffusion. Incidental note is made of distension of the right ovarian vein.

Case Discussion

The appendix may not be clearly identified on MRI in pregnancy for a number of reasons, including the limited spatial resolution compared to CT, and the alteration in anatomy caused by the gravid uterus. The absence of ancillary signs of acute appendicitis, such as edema and fluid in the region of the cecal pole on fat-saturated images and the lack of restriction of diffusion are helpful in confirming that there is no acute appendicitis. The pregnancy progressed to term with no requirement for surgical intervention.

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