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Radiodiagnostic Imaging in Pregnancy and the Risk of Childhood Malignancy

 

The ongoing controversy about cancer risk following prenatal exposure to radiodiagnostic imaging has not been solved, but there seems to be a general consensus that diagnostic imaging poses a high risk of inducing childhood malignancies and that the null results must be interpreted carefully. Diagnostic CT imaging radiation involving the pelvis and the abdomen yields a high dose to the foetus [13],[15] and may thus, at least theoretically, increase the risk of childhood and even adult malignancies [9] relative to imaging procedures taken with the foetus outside of the field of view, which provides negligible scattered radiation exposure. Future studies should focus on accurately stratifying risk on the basis of this premise. We also believe that an international consortium that attempts to pool the data from the available investigations with the primary aim of categorizing exposure-risk associations on the basis of the magnitude of the dose delivered to the foetus could shed much light into this issue and assist policymakers in the future.

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