CAT scan during pregnancy

I just found out I am pregnant and I am very worried. I had a CAT scan done when I would have been about five days after conception. I am worried about how the CAT scan may have affected my baby, as well as the barium I had to drink and the "imaging agent" they injected by IV. Should I be concerned?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

In 1990, the Committee on Biological Effects published a review where they reported a summary on radiation effects on the fetus. Time and again, they quote the sensitive period seems to start at or after the eighth week. At five days post menses, there is very little if any connection between the maternal system and the dividing blastocyst. Dosage is also a consideration and the rads involved in a CAT scan this early would probably have no effect on the pregnancy or fetus. In addition, the American College of Radiology has stated that "no single diagnostic procedure results in radiation dose significant enough to threaten the well-being of the developing embryo and fetus".

The contrast medium and barium should not affect the baby unless you suffered an allergic reaction.

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