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Ionizing Radiation in Pregnant Women: A Review of the Safety and Guidelines

Published on: June 9, 2015
Project Number: RC0665-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical evidence regarding the safety of ionizing radiation in pregnant women?
  2. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of ionizing radiation in pregnant women?

Key Message

Four non-randomized studies suggest that overall, in most instances, there were no statistically significant differences in outcomes between the pregnant women exposed to diagnostic or therapeutic procedures involving ionizing radiation compared to those unexposed. However results need to be interpreted with caution considering the limitations of the studies. The recommendations in the evidence based guidelines regarding the exposure to ionizing radiation during pregnancy were based on low level evidence. During pregnancy the use of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures involving ionizing radiation were not considered unsafe but it was recommended that risks and benefits be weighed and care be taken to minimize exposure to the fetus.


fetus, maternal exposure, pediatrics, pregnancy, pregnant women, prenatal exposure delayed effects, radiation, radiation injuries, radiation oncology, radiography, radiotherapy, teratogens, tomography, x-rays, xrays, ct scan, imaging, CT, Fetal, Ionizing, Prenatal, X-Ray Computed, X-ray, foetal, foetus, pre-natal, xray