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How Does Contrast Affect The Kidney?

In current medicine, the use of imaging tests has been widely extended as a fundamental support for both the diagnosis and therapeutics of different pathologies. DTPA renal scan provide a great deal of information; they are mostly non-invasive or minimally invasive and have good cost-effectiveness.

The technology used for such tests varies from radiation to ultrasound and electromagnetic fields, as well as combinations or modifications of these, and depending on the body structure that you want to study some techniques will be more suitable than others. There are also ways to increase the sensitivity and/or specificity of the test and provide more information to the healthcare professional who has requested them, such as the use of contrasts.

These are substances that can be ingested, administered through enemas, probes, or intravenous, and that enhances structures or organs in the images. However, contrasts cannot be used in all cases, and particularly in patients with impaired renal function, there are some peculiarities that must be considered. Two situations are the most relevant.

When a CT scan with iodinated contrast is performed, this is a product that is discarded through the urine, but when the patient's renal function is impaired below a certain limit (Glomerular filtration <60 ml/min) it can worsen the renal functions even more. To reduce the risk, it is important to maintain adequate hydration before and after the test and avoid the consumption of some medications such as diuretics, antihypertensive, and analgesics (NSAIDs) 24 hours prior to the DTPA renal scan.

Contrast urography

The most informative, simple, and inexpensive research method. It can be performed on an outpatient basis - immediately after the procedure, the patient goes home. The main advantage is the introduction of an iodine-based contrast agent, which, as it is filtered by the glomerular system and excreted through the urinary tract, highlights various areas in the picture.

Possible side effects of kidney x-ray with contrast

The most common are allergic reactions; therefore, X-ray rooms are equipped with a first-aid kit to provide emergency assistance with the development of a hypersensitivity reaction. Also, during the introduction of contrast, you may experience a short-term feeling of heat, nausea, and an unusual smack in the mouth.

In the case of a Magnetic Resonance with gadolinium contrast, there is a less frequent but more serious adverse reaction, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis; It has been seen that it occurs mainly in patients with major impairment of renal function (Filtration <30 ml/min) and there is currently no completely satisfactory treatment for it. To reduce their risk, the least possible amount of gadolinium is used, and in some patients, hemodialysis sessions are indicated to help remove this substance from the blood.

Therefore, if you are a patient with renal insufficiency, do not be surprised if some special provisions are made when you indicate any of these tests.

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