What Are the Risks of Ionizing Radiation to a Developing Fetus?
Pregnant women commonly present in the acute care setting for a variety of reasons, and their evaluations often include diagnostic imaging. Common imaging studies include ultrasonography, plain radiographs, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Attempts should be made to minimize ionizing radiation exposure to the mother and developing fetus. Medical imaging uses relatively small amounts of radiation, and the exposure is far below the level that causes miscarriage or teratogenesis. Necessary diagnostic tests should not be withheld from pregnant patients because of fetal risk.
KeywordsPregnancy Ionizing radiation Computed tomography Plain radiographs ALARA principle
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