Iodinated contrast

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Iodinated contrast is a form of intravenous radiocontrast (radiographic dye) containing iodine, which enhances the visibility of vascular structures and organs during radiographic procedures. Some pathologies, such as cancer, have particularly improved visibility with iodinated contrast.

Iodinated contrast media may either be oil-based or water-soluble, the former of which is slowly absorbed by body tissue and is usually only used in sialographic and hysterosalpingographic examinations. Water-soluble iodinated medium, which is more quickly absorbed, may be used in place of barium sulfate for gastrointestinal studies that are contraindicated by the use of barium for that reason.[citation needed]

Iodinated medium may also be either ionic or non-ionic. The ionic type tends to create a high osmolality in blood and may cause a contrast media reaction in some individuals, which may be life-threatening for those with certain medical conditions. The non-ionic form decreases this risk, but is much more expensive. The non-ionic contrast media is much more widely used today.[citation needed]

Shortly after infusion, iodinated contrast medium causes a warming sensation throughout the body. Sometimes this feeling is more pronounced in the pelvic area. Patients receiving contrast via IV typically experience a hot feeling around the throat, and this hot sensation gradually moves down to the pelvic area.

Iodinated contrast is toxic to the kidneys and kidney function of the patient receiving a dose should be considered before the exam[citation needed]. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) should be no lower than 30 mL/min in patients receiving iodinated contrast, and discretion should be used in patients with eGFR less 45 mL/min.[1] Following up with extra fluids after an injection is highly recommended.


  • Bontranger, Kenneth L. & Lampignano, John P. (2005). Radiographic Positioning and Related Anatomy, St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby. ISBN 0-323-02507-2.
  1. ^ [1], UC San Francisco Guidelines on the Administration of Intravenous Iodinated Contrast Media

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