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The study was designed to compare the hemodynamic effects of 11 iodinated contrast media (CM), including ionic (diatrizoate, ioxaglate), nonionic monomeric (iohexol, iopromide, iopamidol, iopentol, ioversol, iomeprol, ZK 139129), and nonionic dimeric (iotrolan, iodixanol) compounds.Following left ventricular bolus injection of 1.2 g I/kg body weight in anesthetized rats, cardiohemodynamic parameters were measured.Compared with the control group, except for blood pressure (BP), all CM showed a similar response regarding the direction of the cardiohemodynamic changes after CM injection. A biphasic change in BP was observed for diatrizoate and iodixanol, whereas all other CM showed a transient increase in BP being most pronounced for ioxaglate. No arrhythmias were detected. The increase in LVEDP was lowest for the isotonic dimeric CM iotrolan and iodixanol.Only mild transient side effects were observed. Low osmolar, especially isotonic, dimeric CM show a clear benefit regarding cardiovascular side effects.