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Magnetic resonance imaging of the placenta and gravid uterus: a pictorial essay


The placenta is commonly overlooked on magnetic resonance imaging of the pregnant patient, which is frequently performed for alternative reasons such as to characterize fetal or uterine anomalies or to investigate the etiology of acute pelvic pain in pregnancy. Placental disorders have potential for significant maternal and fetal morbidity and peripartum complications if not recognized and treated in a timely manner. The radiologist must be familiar with normal placental variants and the spectrum of benign to life-threatening conditions affecting the placenta so that the Obstetrician can be promptly notified and patient management altered, if necessary. In this pictorial essay, we will describe our MR protocol for placental imaging, provide an image-rich review of the normal placenta, placental variants, and a variety of pathological conditions affecting the placenta and gravid uterus.

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Correspondence to Daniel C. Oppenheimer.

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Oppenheimer, D.C., Mazaheri, P., Ballard, D.H. et al. Magnetic resonance imaging of the placenta and gravid uterus: a pictorial essay. Abdom Radiol 44, 669–684 (2019).

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  • Placenta
  • Pregnancy imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Placenta accreta