MRI Generally Safe For Fetus in First Trimester, But Gadolinium Should Be Avoided Unless Strongly Indicated Interview with:
Dr. Joel G. Ray MD, MS, FRCPC

Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
St. Michael’s Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have little information about the fetal safety to of MRI in the first trimester of pregnancy, or that of MRI with gadolinium contrast performed at any point in pregnancy. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our data reenforce current recommendations that MRI in pregnancy is generally safe for the fetus, including first trimester MRI, However, gadolinium contrast should be avoided unless strongly indicated for maternal reasons. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We need to know more about whether gadolinium contrast crosses the human placenta, and how long it lasts within the amniotic fluid. Separately, we could benefit from a case series of children who had been exposed to MRI in the first trimester of pregnancy, and who then undergo standardized visual acuity testing and a retinal examination. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Ray JG, Vermeulen MJ, Bharatha A, Montanera WJ, Park AL. Association Between MRI Exposure During Pregnancy and Fetal and Childhood Outcomes. JAMA.2016;316(9):952-961. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12126.

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Last Updated on September 8, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD