Radiation protection of pregnant women during PET/CT scanning

» Can a pregnant woman accompany a friend, partner or child who is having a scan?

It is not desirable. Although the radiation dose from the person undergoing a scan is fairly low, it is desirable to keep the radiation exposure to the foetus as low as reasonably achievable. Should a pregnant woman’s presence be necessary to comfort a small child, specific advice to keep their distance from the child and from other patients who have undergone PET scans or other diagnostic and therapeutic radionuclide procedures should be provided. In such a case, the contact time should be as short as possible.

» Can a patient breastfeed after a scan?

Some of the administered 18F-FDG might be excreted in small amounts in breast milk. Normally, the scan should be delayed until breast feeding has stopped. But if the scan is needed urgently, then it is advisable to collect milk before the scan, so that this can be used to provide a feed after the scan. Furthermore, milk should be collected and discarded for 2 hours after the scan. Normal breast feeding can resume after that.