Radiology clinic

Looking at early (less than eight weeks) pregnancy

Matthew Lee
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This clinic is designed to help you to see what the radiologist sees. It is not intended to be a comprehensive discussion of a given condition, but a guide to the radiological features. What do these images tell you?

Article Extract

Case presentation

The images in this clinic are from different patients. The patients had all had a positive pregnancy test.


The imaging modality used to detect an early pregnancy is ultrasound. Transabdominal scanning is usually carried out, with or without transvaginal scanning. To determine viability, the heartbeat must be seen, which is usually not visualised until approximately six weeks’ gestation. Earlier than this, a small embryo can be seen, but the heartbeat may not be able to be imaged.