Maternal and fetal incidental findings on antenatal magnetic resonance imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations are increasingly used in antenatal clinical practice. Incidental findings are a recognized association with imaging and although in some circumstances their identification can alter management, they are often associated with increased anxiety, for both patient and clinician, as well as increased health care costs. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of unexpected findings in both the mother and fetus during antenatal MRI examinations. Materials and methods: A retrospective study was undertaken over a five-year period at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. Maternal incidental findings were recorded from all clinical reports of all fetal MRIs performed (for clinical reasons and in healthy volunteers) during this period. Fetal incidental findings were recorded only in cases where women with uncomplicated pregnancies were participating as healthy volunteers. Results: A total of 2,569 MRIs were included; 17% of women had maternal incidental findings. Of these, 1,099 were women with uncomplicated pregnancies who undertook research MRIs as healthy volunteers; fetal incidental findings were identified in 12.3%. Conclusion: Incidental findings are a common occurrence in antenatal MRI. Consideration should be given to counseling women appropriately before imaging and ensuring that robust local protocols are in place for follow-up and further management of such cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1847
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number10
Early online date27 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Fetus
  • Incidental findings
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pregnancy


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal and fetal incidental findings on antenatal magnetic resonance imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this