Radiation exposures in pregnancy, health effects and risks to the embryo/fetus – information to inform the medical management of the pregnant patient

J Radiol Prot. 2021 Aug 11. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/ac1c95. Online ahead of print.


Generally, intentional exposure of pregnant women is avoided as far as possible in both medical and occupational situations. This paper aims to summarise available information on sources of radiation exposure of the embryo/fetus primarily in medical settings. Accidental and unintended exposure is also considered. Knowledge on the effects of radiation exposure on the developing embro/fetus remains incomplete-drawn largely from animal studies and two human cohorts but a summary is provided in relation to the key health endpoints of concern, severe fetal malformations/death, future cancer risk, and future impact on cognitive function. Both the specific education and training and also the literature regarding medical management of pregnant females is in general sparse, and consequently the justification and optimisation approaches may need to be considered on a case by case basis. In collating and reviewing this information, several suggestions for future basic science research, education and training, and radiation protection practice are identified.

PMID:34380129 | DOI:10.1088/1361-6498/ac1c95

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