Is the Safety of Contrast Agents an Issue in Body Computed Tomography?

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. To investigate the comparative safety profiles of nonionic and ionic contrast agents in body computed tomography (CT) studies.

METHODS. A literature search was conducted to examine the following variables: image quality, repeat or aborted studies, and the cost of nonionic agents versus benefits. Data are presented that address the following questions: Does administering nonionic agents save time? Are nonionic agents more likely to provide an adequate study? Does an adequate study necessarily ensure an improved detection rate?

RESULTS. The administration of nonionic contrast does not save time during the body CT studies. There is little significant difference between the sensitivity for making a diagnosis when using an ionic or nonionic agent.

CONCLUSION. The lack of difference in diagnostic sensitivity or time to perform a study between ionic and nonionic agents does not warrant the conversion to nonionic agents in body CT.

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