Are the risks of drugs that enhance imaging tests overblown? – Minnesota Public Radio News

One of the most widely used drugs in the world isn’t really a drug, at least not in the usual sense. It’s more like a dye. Physicians call this drug “contrast,” shorthand for contrast agent. Contrast agents are chemical compounds that doctors use to improve the quality of an imaging test. In the emergency room, where I work, contrast is most commonly given intravenously during a CT scan. About 80 million CT scans are performed annually in the U.S., and the majority are done with contrast. Most contrast agents I use contain iodine, which can block X-rays. This effect causes ...

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