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UPMC Imaging Experts Explore Complexities Surrounding Procedures for Pregnant Patients

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 30, 2012 – Interventional radiology and women’s imaging experts from UPMC explored the complexities of how to minimize radiation exposure to a fetus while taking optimal care of women who must undergo imaging procedures while pregnant during an educational session this week at the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) 2012 annual meeting.
The session discussed the following areas of concern:
• Considering and choosing the appropriate diagnostic test
• Radiation risk to the fetus from exposure during common diagnostic and interventional imaging procedures
• Appropriate anesthetic agents and monitoring during procedures
• Proper patient preparation and informed consent considerations
“There are numerous reasons why a pregnant woman might need to undergo an imaging procedure,” said Jules Sumkin, D.O., chief of radiology for Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. “Pregnant women present diagnostic challenges when they develop relatively common diseases such as appendicitis, kidney infections or breast cancer. Imaging tests may need to be modified for their diagnosis and treatment.”
According to Dr. Sumkin, in certain situations a test without ionizing radiation may be appropriate. However, if necessary, imaging procedures that use radiation can be performed in a way that poses virtually no risk to the patient or the fetus.
Additional presenters include M. Lee Spangler, M.D., Nikhil B. Amesur, M.D., Michael Sheetz, M.S., C.H.P. and D.A.B.M.P., and Philip Orons, D.O., all from UPMC’s department of radiology.

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