Interventional Radiologist Questions Interventional Radiology

Are there any side effects of iodine contrast?

Since my procedure, I've been experiencing a slight headache that comes and goes. I know my doctor used iodine-based contrast, but he didn't tell me if I would experience any side effects after the procedure was completed. Could this headache be from from the iodine contrast?

5 Answers

CT contrast material is usually fairly safe. However, in a subset of patients that have renal failure or impaired renal function, or in diabetic patients, there is a risk of contrast induced nephropathy. This is those depending depending on the volume of contrast material injected. Usually, the ordering physician screens for blood work/renal function tests prior to ordering a contrast enhanced CT scan. Sometimes, and patience to have impaired renal function but where contrast administration is absolutely necessary, reduce doses of contrast can be administered. The new a CT protocols also use a technology known as “bolus tracking” . This helps to further reduce the dose of contrast necessary to achieve a satisfactory CT study.
I’m sorry you are not feeling well. The only reactions to contrast are immediately after the exam in the form of an allergic reaction for some patients. Your headache is not a result of the contrast.

Dr Cox
Allergic reactions and side effects from iodinated contrast media are very uncommon with modern day formulations.
It’s possible but unlikely that contract would cause headaches. IV Contrast should clear from your system in 48 hour the very latest. (Unless you are on dialysis.)