Imaging Contrast

Contrast agents are injected into patients to help enhance images to make it easier for radiologists distinguish specific areas of the body from surrounding tissues. The most commonly used agents are iodinated contrast dye for computed tomography (CT), interventional cath lab angiography,  RF fluoroscopy, and in surgical OR procedures. MRI scans typically use gadolinium-based contrast agents. Ultrasound and echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound) imaging use contrast agents composed of microscopic bubbles to enhance images that otherwise would be suboptimal.

radiology reporting EHR health record CDS AUC

This week in AJR, experts from a large, multisite health system detailed their efforts to preserve contrast supplies by implementing electronic health record (EHR) order entry-based interventions.

With the shortage, which pertains specifically to all formulations and concentrations of GE Healthcare’s Omnipaque (iohexol), expected to last until mid-June, several organizations have eluded that conservation efforts are of critical importance.#contrastshortage #CTcontrast #iodinatedcontrast

"Ultimately, long-term studies are vital to parse out whether the absence of iodinated contrast media greatly affected patient outcomes or if we have been overdependent on ICM unnecessarily.” 

Bracco Diagnostics, Inc has been given the go ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to temporarily import Iomeron (iomeprol injection) into the U.S. market amid the ongoing iodinated contrast media shortage. 

Iodine contrast being loaded into a contrast injector in preparation for a cardiac CT scan at Duly Health and Care in Lisle, Illinois. The contrast shortage is causing some healthcare organizations to postpone exams and procedures and ration contrast supplies. Photo by Dave Fornell

“For patients with a prior ICM-induced hypersensitivity reaction, healthcare providers must balance the benefit of ICM reuse against the risk of a repeat reaction,” authors of a new meta-analysis published in Radiology said.

contrast shortage

On July 18 Fresenius Kabi announced that they are rolling out a line of generic contrast media products, starting immediately with Iodixanol Injection USP. 

Per Bayer’s communications, the contrast agent is manufactured at the same site in Berlin, Germany as the Ultravist that is intended for U.S. markets, but due to its intended distribution abroad it lacks current FDA-approved labeling. 

With the shortage, which pertains specifically to all formulations and concentrations of GE Healthcare’s Omnipaque (iohexol), expected to last until mid-June, several organizations have eluded that conservation efforts are of critical importance.#contrastshortage #CTcontrast #iodinatedcontrast

GE previously indicated that the iodinated contrast shortage would resolve by the end of June.

Beyond readmission, 32.9% of patients with increased pancreatic necrosis volumes required additional invasive interventions.

enlarged parathyroid gland

Such assessments could “decrease existing diagnosis gaps,” according to a new study published in Academic Radiology

During the 2022 State of the Union address, President Biden outlined a new plan to combat COVID-19 by testing and immediate treatment, plans to reduce drug costs, the need for more mental health coverage, and a call for more cancer research under an NIH program.

Members who signed the letter were particularly critical of the fact that the shortage is a result of COVID lockdowns in China, stating that this crisis brings to light “the urgent need to establish an outbound investment review process to ensure that critical capabilities are not being offshored ..."

Arl Van Moore, MD, American College of Radiology (ACR) delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, former ACR president, chairman of the ACR Board and former CEO of Strategic Radiology, discusses two radiology related policy decisions at the AMA 2022 meeting. These included a AMA policy on the iodine contrast shortage and AUC CDS. #AMA #AMA22 #AMAmtg #AMA175 #ACR

Arl Van Moore, MD, American College of Radiology (ACR) delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates, former ACR president, chairman of the ACR Board and former CEO of Strategic Radiology, discusses radiology-related policy decisions at the AMA 2022 meeting.

ACR: FDA evidence backing thyroid monitoring in peds after ICM use is 'weak' #contrast #FDA #contrastshortage

The ACR statement also brought to light some of the unintended consequences of the FDA’s contrast media safety warning.

Around the web

There is not agreement among the top structural heart experts if CT is required for left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO), but a Henry Ford Hospital study shows it can improve outcomes.

Ron Blankstein, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, explains recent advances in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) technology. 

With the elevation of cardiac CT to a 1A indication in the 2021 Chest Pain Guidelines, there has been a large amount of interest in starting coronary artery CT angiography (CCTA) programs. 

   
   
   
   
   
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