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Answering your Questions about Contrast Material


Thanks to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography scans (CT), doctors are able to effectively screen for, diagnose and treat conditions that could never be seen with the naked eye alone. Sometimes, in order to get an even better look at a desired area or organ in the body, you may receive a CT or MRI with contrast material.


Here are 4 common questions & answers about Contrast Material…


1. What is Contrast Material?


Contrast material is a substance designed to enhance the appearance of blood vessels, intestines and organs in diagnostic images, such as MRI and CT scans. Depending on the area or organ of interest, and the exam you are having, the main ingredient in contrast is iodine, barium, or gadolinium. Iodine and gadolinium-based contrast are administered intravenously, or through an IV, and barium-based contrast is administered orally.


For detailed information about the 3 types of contrast Click Here.


2. What is the purpose?


An MRI or CT scan may require contrast in order to emphasize or highlight an area within your body. For example, when contrast is used during a CT scan, the contrast blocks x-rays from passing through, therefore making the areas with contrast light up on your images. This helps the radiologist who is reading your images to have a clearer view of the area or organ under examination.


3. Does Contrast leave any permanent effects on my body?


Contrast is absorbed by the body and excreted within a few days of your exam, leaving no permanent effects.


4. Is Contrast safe?


Each type of contrast is FDA approved and completely safe to use. However, if you have previously experienced an adverse or allergic reaction to contrast , a possible but rare side effect, please let your technologist know prior to your exam.


Any questions for us?


As always, if you have any additional questions about contrast or an upcoming exam, please feel free to contact us!


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