The aim of the study was to assess the effects of iodinated contrast media on blood components and endothelium based on experimental and clinical studies and to produce clinically relevant guidelines for reducing thrombotic and hematologic complications following the intravascular use of contrast media. A report was drafted after review of the literature and discussions among the members of the Contrast Media Safety Committee of the European Society of Urogenital Radiology. The final report was produced following discussion at the 12th European Symposium on Urogenital Radiology in Ljubljana, Slovenia (2005). Experimental data indicate that all iodinated contrast media produce an anticoagulant effect and that this effect is greater with ionic contrast media. Several of the in vitro and experimental in vivo studies on haematological effects of contrast media have not been confirmed by clinical studies. Low- or iso-osmolar contrast media should be used for diagnostic and interventional angiographic procedures, including phlebography. Meticulous angiographic technique is the most important factor for reducing the thrombotic complications associated with angiographic procedures. Drugs and interventional devices that decrease the risk of thromboembolic complications during interventional procedures minimize the importance of the effects of contrast media.