Diagnostic imaging provides physicians with an incredibly detailed internal image of the area of study, and contrast materials are used to further improve the pictures of the inside of the body. For nearly 15 years, the digital imaging experts at Hudson Valley Imaging, including board-certified radiologists and certified technologists, have been working with contrast materials to provide the excellent level of care they’re known for.
Of the many digital services offered at Hudson Valley Imaging, two of the most common services are CT scanning and MRI scanning. Both scans allow physicians to see detailed images of the body’s internal structures. Sometimes, these scans require preparation, including drinking of an oral contrast.
What Are Contrast Materials?
Also called contrast agents or contrast media, contrast materials are substances that temporarily change the way imaging tools interact with the body. When contrast materials are swallowed, administered by enema, or injected into a blood vessel, they make certain structures or tissues in the body appear different. This allows the radiologist to distinguish normal from abnormal conditions and diagnose medical conditions.
Which Exams Use Contrast Materials?
During some CT and MRI scans, patients may be asked to take a special contrast agent. The contrast is used to make specific organs, blood vessels, and tissues stand out. However, sometimes a scan without contrast is done first so the radiologist can see the body’s structures prior to introducing the contrast. At Hudson Valley Imaging, patients are given specific instructions on preparation, which might include fasting and/or taking a contrast before the procedure.