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Br J Radiol. 1999 Aug;72(860):773-80.

Fetal doses from radiological examinations.

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Regional Medical Physics Department, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.


There has been growing concern about radiation exposures in the case of pregnant women who undergo radiological examinations of the lower abdomen and pelvis, when the embryo/fetus is near or included in the X-ray field. This paper describes a retrospective study of 50 pregnant women accrued over a period of 10 years. Most of these women were not aware of pregnancy at the time of their radiological examinations. They subsequently discovered that they were pregnant and sought advice from their physicians on fetal dose and risk. They were then referred to a Radiation Protection Advisor for an estimation of the fetal dose. Radiation absorbed dose to the embryo/fetus was estimated from a knowledge of technique factors and examination details using normalized uterine doses published by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB). Doses to the embryo/fetus varied between less than 0.01 microGy and 117 mGy, depending on the examination. Gestational ages ranged between 2 and 24 weeks.

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