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This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Cancer - Active Topics: Cancer - Active Topics
Exposure to Pet Scan IV contrast radioactive material

CCoPE
Date: 2011-02-02

Question:
I was exposed to PET SCAN IV contrast radioactive material when it was given to my patient. The PETSCAN department told me at the end of the shift. It was too late. I was at the patient's room most of the time. What are the chances of this ionizing radiation to my baby. I am in my 34th week of pregnancy. Thanks

Answer:

The following should not replace the assessment and advice you have been receiving or may receive from your physician (cancer specialist, obstetrician or other healthcare provider). It is offered for your information only.

During a PET scan, a radioactive agent containing positrons is injected into the patient and the scanner reads the radiation that is emitted from the positrons.

In pregnancy, positron emission tomography (PET scanning) generally results in radiation doses to the fetus that are not expected to increase birth defect risk. The maximum amount of radiation that is considered permissible for fetal exposure is 50 Milligray units. The fetal radiation dose following a single PET-scan is unlikely to be higher than this level.

Since the exposure was indirect, a significantly lower amount of radiation exposure is expected. Moreover, at 34 weeks of gestation no malformations can occur.

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