To the Editor: In his Editorial, Dr Glassroth1 suggests that during pregnancy ventilation-perfusion lung scanning is preferred to computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) because radiation dosage is higher with CTPA. However, with respect to the fetus the opposite is true: CTPA exposes the fetus to less radiation.2,3 The more important CTPA-related radiation risk during pregnancy is to the breasts,4 a risk that may be offset by the use of breast shields.5 In general, when pulmonary embolism is suspected during pregnancy, CTPA is the preferred study.
Siegel MD. Evaluation of Suspected Pulmonary Embolism During Pregnancy. JAMA. 2008;299(14):1665-1666. doi:10.1001/jama.299.14.1665-a