September 8, 2008

Imaging During Pregnancy: Iodinated Contrast Media?


  • Iodinated contrast media can cross human placenta and enter fetus when given in clinical doses.
  • No teratogenic or mutagenic effect was shown in animal studies.
  • No adequate, well-controlled human studies have been performed.

What are the risks?

  • Neonatal hypothyroidism: this occurred after direct instillation of ionic contrast into amniotic cavity during amniofetography. No report of effect from IV use of contrast media.
What to do?
  • According to ACR (American College of Radiology), no definitive conclusion on risks of IV iodinated contrast media in pregnant women. Only use if absolutely necessary and informed consent needs to be obtained.
  • If IV contrast medium was given, check thyroid function of newborn baby for possible hypothyroidism.

1. Chen MM, et al. Obst Gynecol 2008;112(2):333-340 (Aug 2008)
2. American College of Radiology. Manual on contrast media version 6 (2008)

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