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Study determines commonly used contrast agent safe for 'universal use' in CT

The contrast agent iopromide, which has been used on more than 70 million patients worldwide, can be used for all types of CT imaging, regardless of the volume or dosage required, according to a new study by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

For the study, researchers analyzed 29,508 patients who underwent contrast-enhanced CT with iopromide for a variety of diagnostic reasons. Of the patients studied, 29,297 experienced no adverse effects due to the contrast agent used. Of the 211 who did experience adverse effects, only four were rated as severe.

According to the study authors, iopromide has been available in the U.S. for about ten years and can be administered either intravenously or intraarterially, but up until now its safety has only been proven for selected procedures such as abdominal CT and angiography and only at specific dosage amounts. "We undertook the study to clarify some unresolved questions about intravenous contrast agents and to have a benchmark study regarding the safety of the agent in a large group of patients," said Koenraad J. Mortel, MD, lead author of the paper.

"We believe this study provides insight into the safety of this specific contrast agent in a large group of patients and attempts to answer some of those unresolved questions regarding CT contrast agents," added Dr. Mortel.

The study appears in the January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.


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