The purpose of our study was to determine the current practice patterns of U.S. radiologists in imaging pregnant or potentially pregnant patients with acute abdominal and pelvic conditions. After obtaining an Institutional Review Board waiver, all members of the Association of University Radiologists, the Association of Program Directors in Radiology, and the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound were invited via e-mail to take a 23-question online survey on radiology practices and clinical scenarios about acute abdominal and pelvic imaging of pregnant patients. Comparisons were made with previously published surveys. A total of 225 responses were received. Areas of high consensus included pregnancy assessment (97%) and obtaining informed consent (87%) before imaging, having a written policy on imaging pregnant patients (79%), modification of computed tomography (CT) protocols (74%), avoiding gadolinium contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (74%), using ultrasound for initial imaging in some scenarios, and using CT in trauma cases after inconclusive ultrasound. Areas of emerging consensus compared to 2007 included the use of serum or urine testing to confirm pregnancy status (59.4%; previously 14%) and the use of MRI in suspected appendicitis after an inconclusive ultrasound (73% in first trimester and 67% in third trimester; previously 46% and 29%, respectively). Areas without clear consensus included policy development, additional modifications to MRI protocols, choice of imaging modality, radiation dose, and the use of contrast agents in some scenarios. In conclusion, high or increasing consensus exists in some areas of imaging pregnant patients with acute abdominal and pelvic conditions, but has yet to emerge in other areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging