Published online Aug 16, 2013. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v5.i8.366
Revised: April 10, 2013
Accepted: May 8, 2013
Published online: August 16, 2013
The effect of fetal radiation during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) on pregnant women is a very interesting topic. Smith et al recently estimated the fetal radiation exposure in pregnant women undergoing ERCPs using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs). The authors concluded that TLDs are unnecessary during ERCP with modified techniques. We believe that an extreme caution is needed in clinical practice before drawing such conclusions when they are not strongly supported by enough experimental evidence. Therefore, we recommend that fetal radiation exposure be monitored in clinical practice by using dosimeters, bearing in mind that all relevant techniques to control and minimize the exposure must be applied.
Core tip: The effects of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) on pregnant women, addressed in the recent article by Smith et al, is an interesting topic. Despite the large sample of patients investigated by the authors, strong experimental evidence on this topic is still lacking. ERCP should be performed only with a therapeutic purpose and by experienced ERCP endoscopists, preferably during the second trimester of pregnancy.