Low osmolality contrast agents
Contrast media are radiopaque substances used to provide a contrast density between the tissue or organ being filmed by X-ray and the medium. For example, when barium sulfate is swallowed, it will demonstrate the outline of the intestinal tract as X-rays are taken during the passage of the medium. Non-ionic, low-osmolality contrast agents have a low level of uncharged, undissolved particles, whereas ionic, high-osmolality contrast media have a high amount of undissolved, charged particles. The United States Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of ioversol, a non-ionic, low-osmolality X-ray contrast agent with an iodine group. Although they are more expensive, low-osmolality contrast agents are equally effective, better tolerated, and safer when compared with older, high-osmolality contrast agents. The localized discomfort associated with the use of contrast agents is associated with their high osmolality, whereas the adverse side effects are related to the dissociation of the contrast medium. The newer contrast agents cause less heat and pain on injection, which is particularly important in angiography, the X-ray of blood vessels. One study demonstrated that the incidence of adverse side effects was 4 percent with older, ionic high-osmolality contrast medium and 0.7 percent with non-ionic, low-osmolality agents. There is an increased risk of thromboembolism, or blood clot formation, with the newer agents. Research results reveal that the newer low-osmolality contrast agents cause less discomfort and appear to be safer than ionic, high-osmolality contrast medium. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
The development of immunosuppressent drugs limiting graft rejection and graft versus host diseases has improved the success rate of organ and bone marrow transplantation. The most commonly used classes of drugs are corticosteroids, cytotoxics, metabolites, hypnotics and antibodies. Intravenous or oral administration may be appropriate. However, all may have undesirable side effects.
Publication Name: Nursing Times
The procedure in which a patient drinks barium as contrast media in order to get a detailed x-ray of the esophagus is described. Techniques for preparing the patient, safety considerations and aftercare are presented as well.
Publication Name: Nursing Times
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