Contrast agents are used in radiology to enhance structures and fluids in the body during imaging procedures. It is important for healthcare personnel who interact with patients who receive contrast agents to be aware of the indications for use and the risks of adverse events related to contrast agents and to have knowledge of the management of such events. Barium sulfate and iodinated contrast agents are the most commonly used for enhancing X-ray and computed tomography examinations; gadolinium-based contrast agents are used to enhance magnetic resonance images. Contrast agents are generally well tolerated and serious adverse events are rare. Although patients with existing kidney dysfunction are at the highest risk for severe reactions to contrast agents, premedication strategies can reduce the risk of severe adverse or allergic reactions.
The goal of this continuing education program is to provide physicians, pharmacists and imaging technologists with an overview of the most common contrast agents used in medical imaging, including the respective mechanisms of action, applications and adverse effects. After studying the material presented here, you will be able to:
- Compare and contrast common contrast agents used in medical imaging
- List risk factors for adverse reactions to contrast agents
- Describe strategies for reducing the risk of serious adverse reactions to contrast agents
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including physicians, pharmacists and imaging technologists.
Imaging technologists: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
This activity is approved for Category A continuing education credit by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) for 10/29/2015 to 11/1/2018.
This activity may be available in multiple formats or from different sponsors. ARRT regulations state that an individual may not repeat a self-learning activity for credit if it was reported in the same or any subsequent biennium.
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.