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

Kimberly E. Applegate, Úna Findlay, Louise Fraser, Yvonne Kinsella, Liz Ainsbury, Simon Bouffler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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/foetus primarily in medical settings. Accidental and unintended exposure is also considered. Knowledge on the effects of radiation exposure on the developing embryo/foetus 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 foetal 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S522-S539
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • medical exposure
  • pregnancy
  • radiation
  • ATOMIC-BOMB SURVIVORS
  • MENTAL-RETARDATION
  • PROTECTION
  • INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY
  • CHILDREN
  • BREAST-CANCER
  • WOMEN
  • FETAL
  • ASSOCIATION
  • TRAUMA

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