Navigation Links
Study tracks increasing use of CT on pregnant women
Date:3/16/2009

OAK BROOK, Ill Researchers have found that over a 10-year period radiologic exams on pregnant women have more than doubled, according to a study published in the online edition of Radiology.

"Imaging utilization has not been previously studied in the pregnant population," said Elizabeth Lazarus, M.D., assistant professor of diagnostic imaging at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University and a radiologist at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I. "This population may be vulnerable to the adverse effects of radiation."

Dr. Lazarus and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of nuclear medicine, CT, fluoroscopy and plain-film x-ray imaging examinations performed at Rhode Island Hospital and Women and Infants' Hospital from 1997 through 2006 to determine how often these imaging exams were performed on pregnant women and the estimated radiation dose to the fetus. Data were then compared to the number of infant deliveries per year for that same time period.

The researchers found that from 1997 to 2006, the total number of imaging studies performed on pregnant women at their institution increased by 10.1 percent per year, but the number of CT exams increased by 25.3 percent per year. CT delivers a higher amount of radiation than many other radiologic procedures.

CT exams are not routinely ordered for pregnant women, but may be necessary to detect suspected life-threatening conditions such as bleeding in the brain, blood clots in the lungs or appendicitis. Since CT exposes the developing fetus to radiation, concerns are often raised regarding overuse. The majority of CT examinations (approximately 75 percent) analyzed in the study were performed in areas of the mother's body separate from the uterus, so the fetus was not exposed to any direct radiation. Still, low levels of radiation have been shown to carry a small risk of harm to a developing fetus.

"Women should know that imaging is generally safe during pregnancy and is often used to detect potentially life-threatening problems," Dr. Lazarus said. "However, this study should raise awareness about imaging trends in pregnant patients and help us continue in our efforts to minimize radiation exposure," Dr. Lazarus said.

The researchers evaluated 5,270 examinations on 3,285 patients. During the 10 years of the study, the number of patients imaged per year increased from 237 to 449, and the number of exams per year increased from 331 to 732. This represented an 89 percent increase in patients and a 121 percent increase in examinations over the course of the study. During the same 10 years, the number of deliveries only increased 7 percent from 8,661 to 9,264. Imaging utilization rates (exams per 1,000 deliveries) increased 107 percent.

Use of plain-film x-rays increased an average of 6.8 percent per year, and the number of nuclear medicine examinations rose by approximately 11.6 percent annually. Fluoroscopy utilization increased by 10.6 percent per year, and CT examinations increased by 25.3 percent per year.

A milliGray (mGy) is a unit of measure for absorbed radiation. The average estimated fetal radiation exposure per exam for CT was 4.3 mGy, compared to 2.91 mGy for fluoroscopy, 0.40 mGy for nuclear medicine and 0.43 mGy for x-rays.

Dr. Lazarus hopes that increased use of electronic medical records will help physicians and patients keep track of the number and types of imaging tests performed on pregnant women and give proper consideration to alternative imaging testssuch as MRI and ultrasoundthat do not expose the patient or fetus to ionizing radiation.


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... process to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces ... 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel ... also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud ... and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and ... the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at ... of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The ... that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published ... all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... 5, 2017  In response to the nationwide ... Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ... used as a first-line therapy to manage a ... Recognizing the value and importance ... "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company ... results for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, ... call on that day with the investment community and ... The conference call will begin at 9 a.m. ... access a live webcast of the conference call through ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation announce a ... sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with trauma-related and ... focused on disruptive health solutions for rare disorders and ... record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and contextual data. ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: