What is the role of MRI in the evaluation of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 12, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Carson, MD; Chief Editor: Edward H Springel, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

An MRI may be performed to evaluate for abnormalities of the cerebral cortex (ie, edema, infarction, hemorrhage) in preeclamptic women with severe visual disturbance, seizures, or altered mental status, as seen in the image below. An MRI is more sensitive than a CT scan for detecting cerebral cortical abnormalities but less useful in detecting cerebral hemorrhage.

Axial T2-weighted magnetic resonance images of the Axial T2-weighted magnetic resonance images of the brain of a woman with eclampsia, showing abnormal areas (hyperintense lesions) affecting the pons, cerebral peduncles, and internal capsules. Courtesy of Aashit K Shah, MD.

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