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Vol. 70. Issue 7.
Pages 614-615 (July 2017)
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Vol. 70. Issue 7.
Pages 614-615 (July 2017)
Letter to the Editor
DOI: 10.1016/j.rec.2017.01.029
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Radiation Exposure to the Pregnant Interventional Cardiologist. Is It Really Necessary? Response
Exposición de las cardiólogas intervencionistas a radiaciones ionizantes durante el embarazo. ¿Realmente es necesario? Respuesta
Maite Velázqueza,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author:
, Marta Pombob, Leire Unzuéc, Teresa Bastanted
a Unidad de Hemodinámica y Cardiología Intervencionista, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
b Unidad de Hemodinámica y Cardiología Intervencionista, Hospital Costa del Sol, Marbella, Málaga, Spain
c Unidad de Hemodinámica y Cardiología Intervencionista, Hospital HM Montepríncipe, Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, Spain
d Unidad de Hemodinámica y Cardiología Intervencionista, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Madrid, Spain
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Rev Esp Cardiol. 2017;70:613-410.1016/j.rec.2017.01.028
Irene Valverde André, Rocío Cózar León, Mar González Vasserot, Ernesto Díaz Infante
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To the Editor,

The issue of “exposing pregnant workers to ionizing radiation”1 has always been controversial. The lack of knowledge and information on this topic causes many women to do what they have always seen other women do, namely, change their professional role during pregnancy, without considering whether there are any grounds for this option.

We are not advocating freedom for women to decide against departmental recommendations on radiological protection, rather we are showing that it is possible to continue working in the same professional position according to the national and international radiological protection standards. Royal Decree 783/2001,2 which regulates health protection against ionizing radiation, established that the embryo must be protected by applying an equivalent dose limit of 2 mSv to the pregnant woman's abdominal surface. This value provides the same level of protection as in the general population (1 mSv per official year). None of the workers in our series came close to this limit.1 According to the International Commission on Radiological Protection, “The restriction of the dose to the fetus does not mean that it is necessary for pregnant women to avoid work with radiation…completely…however…their employer should carefully review the exposure conditions…employment should be of such a type that the probability of high accidental doses and high radionucleotide intakes is extremely low”.3 We all agree that the fetus must not receive ionizing radiation, but if the woman is adequately protected, the fetus will not be exposed. Of course, any method that reduces workers’ exposure to ionizing radiation, such as hood-type screens or electrophysiology navigation systems, is welcome and should be incorporated into laboratories.

In all the women in our study, the female interventional cardiologists’ continuing professional activity was agreed, approved, and supervised monthly by the respective radiological protection departments. That is how it can and should be done, to ensure the protection of the fetus.

Last, we are not suggesting that pregnant women be obliged to continue their professional activity in the catheterization laboratory. We simply reported that, should a woman wish to continue working in the laboratory while pregnant, for her own reasons, or because she is at a particular point in her career, she can do so knowing that she is not exposing the fetus to additional risk.

M. Velázquez, M. Pombo, L. Unzué, T. Bastante, E. Mejía, A. Albarrán.
Exposición de las cardiólogas intervencionistas a radiaciones ionizantes durante el embarazo. ¿Realmente representa un riesgo para el feto?.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 70 (2017), pp. 606-608
Real Decreto 783/2001, de 6 de julio, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento sobre protección sanitaria contra radiaciones ionizantes [accessed 26 Jan 2017]. Available from:
General principles for the radiation protection of workers.
Ann ICRP., 27 (1997), pp. 1-60
Copyright © 2017. Sociedad Española de Cardiología
Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)

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